Squaw Valley’s Erik Arvidsson leads U.S. team at Junior Worlds | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley’s Erik Arvidsson leads U.S. team at Junior Worlds

SOCHI, Russia — In yet another tough day at the Rosa Khutor alpine center, FIS Junior World Ski Championships downhill champion Erik Arvidsson of the Squaw Valley Ski Team was the lone American to finish Thursday’s giant slalom, landing in 14th.

The result was Arvidsson’s third top 15 of the FIS Junior World Ski Championships.

“The snow is incredibly mushy at this point, and it’s pushing the race organizers to extremes to pull off quality events,” said Alpine Development Director Chip Knight.

“Really proud of the way Erik competed today. He showed a lot of grit, fighting from a high start number through warm, deteriorating conditions to finish 14th. I’m sure it didn’t feel great, but he made it happen against a top-notch field.”

In a race where more than half of the field did not finish, Switzerland once again prevailed, with Marco Odermatt the victor, France’s Elie Gateau in second and Austria’s Maximilian Lahnsteiner rounding out the podium in third.

The rest of the American contingency — Drew Duffy, Alex Leever and Patrick Kenney — all fell victim to the challenging Rosa Khutor GS track.

“Erik battled the first run in extremely tough conditions and moved up to 21st from bib 32,” said Development Team Assistant Coach Justin Johnson. “He executed his second run beautifully and I was proud of his effort and drive to move into 14th.”

The action continues in Sochi at the Rosa Khutor alpine center with men’s and women’s slalom Friday, and will conclude with the team event on Saturday.

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