In yesterday’s sun and perfect snow Mikaela Shiffrin swanned down the giant slalom course on Superstar at the Killington World Cup, making it look easy in front of a cheering crowd of 18,500. Too easy. “I was really happy with my skiing but not my level of aggression,” said Shiffrin after the race. In her first run, she finished sixth, putting her 0.59 seconds behind the leader, Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel. In Shiffrin’s second run she made up time and sat on the podium in first place— until the last three skiers came in. It was a nail-biter as Stefanie Brunner, Mowinckel and then Italy’s Federica Brignone posted successfully better times. Shiffrin ended up fifth for her second run and with combined times, fourth overall with Brignone taking the top spot, followed by Mowinckel and Bruner (see results and photo gallery here).
Today is her chance to come back in the discipline she has dominated, winning 33 World Cup slalom races in her career. Shiffrin also won the first slalom race of the season, in Levi, Finland and has won eight of the last nine slalom races on the World Cup, with the only exception the race in Lenzerheide where she failed to finish her second run. Shiffrin won the previous two World Cup slalom races in Killington, in 2016 and 2017.
And it’s the type of conditions she often excels in: drizzle, soft snow and poor visibility, conditions which favor her practiced technique and reward her East Coast upbringing. Shiffrin, who grew up in Hanover, N.H. before going to Burke Mountain Academy, is no stranger to Vermont’s changing conditions.
University of Vermont’s Laurence St. Germain will also be racing the slalom today. A member of Canada’s national team, St. Germain, 24, has been racing World Cup in between completing her major in computer science. Last year she finished 14th in the slalom at Killington and at the recent World Cup in Levi, was 17th. St. Germain was 15th in the slalom in the PyeongChang Olympics
St. Germain will be competing against another UVM skier, junior Paula Moltzan. Moltzan, who grew up skiing Buck Hill, the same Minnesota ski area that produced Lindsay Vonn, has been a stronghold of the UVM team ever since she became the first freshman to win the NCAA nationals in slalom in 20 years. She has also competed at Killington and should be ready for the conditions.
Burke Mountain Academy’s Nina O’Brien, who raced GS yesterday, will be on the slalom course as well. “I love coming back to Vermont to ski,” she said after her race. “It doesn’t matter how you do, it’s just fun to ski this course.”
Here’s today’s start list. Wish them luck.’2019AL5116SLR1
Page 2 Slalom Start list