Local skier takes two silvers in Vail
She may have been competing in the J3 Junior Olympics, but Olivia Davis’ accomplishments in Vail earlier this month were anything but minor.
The 14-year-old Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club racer from Old Snowmass cracked the top 10 in all four disciplines, recording second-place finishes in both the super G and giant slalom.
“Olivia came back strong this season and put it all together against her toughest competition this week,” AVSC alpine age-class coach Pat Callahan said in a news release.
Davis, determined to erase the memory of her fall at last year’s event, finished 10th in the downhill Tuesday, March 7. Teammate Lindsey Anderson posted her best result of the week, an 18th.
The first of Davis’ two silvers came in Wednesday’s super G ” she finished just .03 seconds off the pace of winner Delainey Ackerman of Vail. The two skiers would clash in Friday’s giant slalom with another individual title on the line.
Davis pulled out to a narrow lead after the first of two rounds, but could not maintain her advantage. Ackerman again bested her, this time by .22 seconds. AVSC’s Joanna Coffey and Sara Andrews finished 14th and 16th, respectively.
Davis capped the week with a sixth-place run in Saturday’s slalom. She finished little more than a second behind gold medalist Julia Keeler of Crested Butte. Coffey posted a second 14th.
AVSC’s J3 boys had a tougher time in Vail. Only James Britvar ” who finished 13th in both the downhill and slalom ” finished in the top 15.
For her efforts, Davis wound up second overall in the event, qualifying her for a trip to British Columbia to compete April 7-9 in the 14th annual Whistler Cup. The international event, which showcases the world’s best young skiers ages 11 through 14, includes super G, giant slalom and slalom. Skiers who have competed in the Whistler Cup include Slovenia’s Tina Maze, Sweden’s Anja Paerson, and 2006 World Cup overall champion Benjamin Raich of Austria, who won Olympic gold in giant slalom and slalom at the Turin Olympic Games.
Britvar finished 10th in giant slalom in last year’s Whistler Cup.
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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.