Squaw Valley’s Bennett races to career-best finish in Italy
Squaw Valley’s Bryce Bennett had a career day on the Saslong in Val Gardena, Italy, last Saturday, Dec. 15, skiing to fourth place for his best finish in International Ski Federation World Cup racing.
Bennett, 26, led a strong Team USA performance at the downhill event as three Americans finished in the top six.
“It was a solid run for me. I knew I could do well here. Obviously I wanted to do a little bit better, and I knew I was capable of that,” said Bennett in an interview with US Ski & Snowboard.
“I’m pretty happy with it. This is for sure my favorite downhill, and one that I know I can perform my best on, with my skillset. But, I’m happy with the day. I’ll take it!”
Bennett finished his run with a time of 1 minute 57.11 seconds, missing the podium by 0.06 of a second.
Bennett is off to a solid start on the year, taking 12th in downhill at Lake Louise on Nov. 24, and ninth in downhill at Beaver Creek on Nov. 30.
Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, 26, won the event with a time of 1:56.13.
Steven Nyman, 36, of Sundance, Utah, finished 0.03 behind Bennett with a time of 1:57.14. At 6 feet, 4 inches, Nyman and the 6-foot, 7-inch Bennett have been dubbed the “Twin Towers” by US Ski and Snowboard. The two skiers are tied on the year from a time differential standpoint, according to US Ski and Snowboard.
Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong, 30, who recently returned from the torn ACL that ended his 2017-18 season, finished in sixth place with a time of 1:57.18.
“We’re showing that we have what it takes now. It’s been a year or so of inconsistencies with the speed team. We’re starting to get in our groove now and the pieces of our team are in a really good spot. Now having a solid team result like this will definitely help as we go into the next part of the season,” said Ganong in an interview with US Ski & Snowboard.
“For me, coming off my knee injury, I’m just stoked to be back racing and being able to be competitive. I feel like I’m skiing really relaxed, which is nice. The first couple of races I was nervous, I was scared about my knee, and now I’m just relaxing and enjoying skiing.”
The men will head to Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria this week for giant slalom and slalom racing.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.