Local tops U.S. field at junior worlds
BEAUPRE, Quebec ” Snowmass Village local Elizabeth Woods had the best finish for a U.S. woman Sunday in super G at the Alpine Junior World Championships at Le Massif in Quebec.
Woods finished 17th with a time of 1 minute, 12.98 seconds in a race Austria’s Anna Fenninger won. Fenninger, who took silver in Friday’s downhill, completed the course in 1:10.96, nearly a second ahead of runner-up Camilla Borsotti of Italy.
Woods, a senior at the Crested Butte Academy, failed to finish Friday’s race.
The other American finishers were Chelsea Marshall in 21st (1:13.07), Megan McJames in 23rd (1:13.27), Courtney Hammond in 30th (1:13.91), Lauren Ross in 34th (1:14.01) and Kiley Staple in 40th (1:14.66).
Marshall and McJames are both members of the U.S. Ski Team. Marshall is on the C team while McJames is on the development squad. Woods didn’t expect to make the junior worlds team this season, but earned a spot from U.S. coaches after three top-10 finishes in super G last month at the NorAm Cup level.
Woods was ninth in a super G in Apex, British Columbia, on Feb. 12, followed by a fifth-place finish the next day, then another fifth-place result on Feb. 16 in a super G at Big Mountain, Mont.
“It was kind of hard to comprehend for a little while when I found out,” Woods told The Aspen Times in February. “I had no idea it was going to happen, then all of the sudden I was skiing really well. I really wasn’t thinking about making the team, but then they told me.”
Norwegian Mikkel Bjoerge won the men’s slalom Sunday with a two-run time of 1:32.98. Austrian Romed Baumann took the silver medal in 1:33.14. The top American finisher for the men was Tim Kelley, whose time of 1:34.16 was good for fifth place.
Kelley’s teammate Andrew Weibrecht, the silver medalist in Saturday’s super G, turned in the second-fastest second run to move up to 11th with a time of 1:35.31.
The Junior World Championships continue today with a men’s giant slalom. The women have a day off before competing in GS on Tuesday. The championships conclude Tuesday with a team event.
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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.