Ford tough: Skier defends U.S. DH title in Aspen
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – The U.S. Ski Team’s Julia Ford hails from New Hampshire, but she made herself at home on Aspen Mountain this past week.
The 21-year-old won NorAm super Gs on Feb. 9 and 10, then triumphed in downhills Monday and Tuesday. A day later, she secured the five-peat with a second consecutive U.S. downhill championship.
Ford crossed the finish in 1 minute, 48.19 seconds, .24 ahead of Edwards’ Abby Ghent. Brooke Wales (1:49.77), Kiley Staples (1:49.89) and Anna Marno (1:50.12) rounded out the top five.
“It’s overwhelming,” Ford said in a United States Ski and Snowboard Association news release. “Each race, I knew I had to ski my best to throw one in there.
“Aspen offers a little of everything. This year there seems to be a lot of terrain, so that was really fun and a part of the course I really look forward to – it just seems to suit the way I ski. If you win once, you want to win again.”
Aspen’s Julia Mueller-Ristine (1:53.22) wound up 12th. Fellow Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club product Katie Ryan was one of four racers who failed to finish.
In other action Wednesday, Louis-Pierre Helie led a Canadian men’s podium sweep with a winning time of 1:43.24. Dustin Cook (1:43.80) and Morgan Pridy (1:43.86) finished second and third.
Americans Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Thomas Biesemeyer tied for fourth with times of 1:43.89 – just .04 ahead of Aspen’s Wiley Maple, who settled for sixth.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.