The United States will send three men to compete in the World Cup Giant Slalom competition that will be held in Solden, Austria on October 23. Tommy Ford, the Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation, River Radamus, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, and Olympic medalist Ryan Cochran-Siegle, both of whom ski for Cochran’s Ski Club, are all among the top 60 on the GS World Cup Start List, which is the list that determines the number of nations’ quota spots.
For the basic quota start spot in World Cup at Sölden, five will contend
However, Brian McLaughlin from Green Mountain Valley School is ranked 61st on the WCSL. McLaughlin will need to beat out four other Americans in a time trial to earn the final starting spot because he doesn’t have a single World Cup point. The US has ten male athletes whose world rankings allow them to use the basic quota spot in addition to the three who are in the top 60 on the GS World Cup Start List. Five of the ten have agreed to try to qualify on October 18th in Val Senales/Schnalstal, Italy, through a time trial.
Two of the five competitors are current members and three have previously competed for the US Ski Team. Bridger Gile from Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is one of the current USST members. Gile has made 15 World Cup GS starts overall, including two starts in Sölden. Isiah Nelson, the current Junior World Super-G Champion from Buck Hill, is the other USST participant making an attempt to qualify. Nelson will try to earn a spot in his first World Cup GS. Despite being fully capable, neither of these USST members has yet to record a World Cup point.
Three athletes from Global Racing will compete in the time trial for a basic quota start spot
The remaining three American competitors in the Sölden time trial are all active members of Global Racing. Each of the three has competed in a World Cup GS before. Brian McLaughlin missed the top 60 WCSL rankings last season by one point, as was already established. He could have added a fourth US men’s nations’ quota slot with only one more World Cup GS point, eliminating the need for the time trial. 19 World Cup GS events, including one in Sölden, have seen McLaughlin competing. His three World Cup GS results were in the top 30.
In addition to being a Global Racing competitor, George Steffey of Stratton Mountain School has competed in 13 World Cup GS events, one of which was held in Sölden. If Steffey is able to compete in Sölden, he’ll try to earn his first-ever World Cup points. Patrick Kenney, a graduate of Burke Mountain Academy and third competitor for Global Racing in the Sölden start, has made three World Cup GS starts, including one there. Kenney, like Steffey, is attempting to earn his first World Cup points.
The other four will be completely behind whoever makes it to Sölden. They will all be hoping that the athlete who begins in Sölden gains World Cup points and climbs the WCSL rankings. They will so open up a position in GS for a different country. By the end of the season, all five have the potential to climb into the top 60. Hopefully, by the next year, the number of quota seats for American men will be doubled for the Sölden competition in 2023.
Sölden’s women’s team predicament
The women who accepted their USST invitation to the October 19 qualifying race for the October 22 Sölden WC race will be revealed on Sunday. Hopefully by that time, things will be simpler for the women. Seven potential starting berths have been generated by US women, including four national spots, two NorAm personal quotas, and the basic spot. A nation’s spot was made by AJ Hurt, who is returning from an injury. 11 additional US athletes are qualified to use the World Cup GS nation’s place or the basic spot, though. Two of those, though, already hold personal continental spots from the NorAms, so they won’t need to compete.
Mikaela Shiffrin and Paula Moltzan are likely to utilise the positions designated for their countries. The fundamental site and the positions of the other two countries are not yet known. Two of the eligible athletes are also the subject of a query. Will O’Brien and Resnick, who are healing, be prepared for the Sölden race? Remain tuned.
The women’s squad has given us some great news. Both Nina O’Brien, BMA, and Allie Resnick, SSCV, have received medical clearance to return to the snow. Resnick was recently cleared, but Nina O’Brien has been on snow for weeks, is skiing well, and is feeling recovered, according to Alpine Director Patrick Riml. Though patience is essential when coming back from injury, we can hope to see both women in Sölden. Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see. More information about the women’s Sölden qualifying situation will be available soon.
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