Squaw Valley’s Ganong posts best finish of season in Norway
This season of World Cup racing has been a challenge for Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong as he works his way back from last year’s torn ACL.
Ganong, 30, posted his best finish of the year last Sunday in Kvitfjell, Norway, landing in fifth place in super-G, which equaled his second best International Ski Federation World Cup super-G result of his career.
“I’m feeling better,” Ganong said in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “The whole season I’ve kind of been struggling mentally to find my race gear and to be comfortable pushing and taking risks. I’ve been really skiing within myself. These last two days — especially yesterday — I decided to push and take some risks, and it didn’t quite pan out yesterday in the downhill, but it was nice to get that monkey off my back and take some risks and not crash and have good splits.
“Obviously, in the downhill I had huge mistakes, but today — another chance — I pushed hard again, took some risks, and it worked.”
Ganong finished his day with a time of 1 minute, 30.09 seconds to lead the American effort in Kvitfjell. Italy’s Dominik Paris won the race with a time of 1:29.20. Squaw’s Bryce Bennett was 49th with a time of 1:33.10. Bennett skied to a 12th-place finish the day before in downhill.
Local freeriders miss podium in Andorra
The Freeride World Tour made its way to Ordino Araclis, Andorra for the final stop of the season before the finale in Verbier, Switzerland.
Truckee locals Jonathan Penfield, 31, and Sammy Luebke, 29, finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Penfield threw a pair of 360s to highlight his run, while three-time tour champion Luebke had several big airs and a transfer to finish in sixth place. American Blake Hamm won the men’s snowboard competition.
Also out of Truckee, Christopher Galvin, 31, finished in a tie for 10th place.
Going into the final event of the year, Luebke is in fourth place overall with 5,470 points. Penfield sits in sixth place with 5,055 points and Galvin is ninth with 3,105 points. France’s Victor de Le Rue is first with 7,200 points.
In women’s skiing, Jaclyn Paaso, who grew up skiing at Squaw, captured her first win of the season. Paaso, 36, had a pair of massive airs on her way to winning the event in Andorra. The first-place finish was Paaso’s first since 2016. Hazel Birnbaum, 32, who skis out of Kirkwood, was fourth.
The tour will next head to Verbier, Switzerland for the season finale. The competition is scheduled for the final week of March. Luebke is the defending champion at the venue.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.