Travis Ganong records career-best finish in Kitzbuehel
KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Squaw Valley skier Travis Ganong continued his string of quality finishes by matching his career-best in the famed Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Saturday. He then one-upped the performance with a career-best finish in the super G the following day.
Ganong finished seventh in the downhill and sixth in the super G. Unfortunately, he skied off course in the slalom and posted a DNF for the super combined event.
“I’m really, really happy with the skiing,” said Ganong, who was nominated to his first U.S. Olympic team on Sunday. “Last week I was sick in Wengen, so I couldn’t really push hard, and it’s really nice to be back and feel healthy and strong and pushing hard.
“I love Kitzbuehel, so it’s just nice to come to this place every year. This is the epicenter of ski racing. This is where ski racing was born … The hill is amazing. It’s challenging; it’s really difficult. It gives an opportunity for people who are willing to push it to ski fast and win.”
Bode Miller led the U.S. team with a third-place finish in Saturday’s downhill. Miller, who won the only training run, skied a tactically tight line for every ounce of speed but made a drastic mistake going into a flat section to drop .34 behind race winner Hannes Reichelt of Austria. Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal finished second.
It was Miller’s career third podium on the legendary track after two previous second-place finishes.
“I knew it when I came across the finish line, that I’d just wasted another opportunity to win this course,” Miller said. “It’s not even so much beating the other guys, but skiing the course the way it’s meant to be skied. That obviously is my No. 1 goal and it’s just really tough.”
Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley sneaked into the top 20 while Steven Nyman also finished within the points in 27th.
Due to warm temperatures, the traditional course was altered from its traditional finish pitch to go around the Hausberg jump and side-hill traverse into the finish.
Jitloff 13th in super combined
Reigning super combined world champion Ted Ligety skied an inspired slalom run to take second in the super combined in Kitzbuehel on Sunday.
The runner-up finish marked Ligety’s second super combined podium of the season after winning in Wengen. He finished 31st in the super G portion of the two-race event.
Miller was en route to a fourth discipline podium on the weekend, in second after the super G, when he was disqualified for straddling a gate in the slalom just a few meters from the finish.
Jared Goldberg and Truckee native Tim Jitloff finished 11th and 13th, respectively, and Andrew Weibrecht was 27th. Steven Nyman and Andrew Weibrecht also finished in the points in the super G, placing 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
French racer Alexis Pinturault took the super combined victory and Austrian Marcel Hirscher finished third to the deafening delight of the home crowd.
The super G counted as the first race of the super combined as well as a separate, stand-alone World Cup event.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.