Tommy Ford wins NorAm Cup GS in Aspen |

Tommy Ford wins NorAm Cup GS in Aspen

Tommy Ford of Oregon leaves the finish corral Thursday after winning the men's giant slalom at the NorAm Cup Finals at Aspen Mountain.
Dale Strode |

College ski racers descended on Aspen this week just like their compatriots on spring break.

The college skiers joined the men’s field for the NorAm Cup Finals giant slalom on Thursday at Aspen Mountain.

The collegians had just completed the NCAA Championships at Steamboat Springs last weekend. Many opted for the NorAm technical races in Aspen this week. A slalom is scheduled for Friday with two runs for the men.

Tommy Ford of Bend, Oregon — a former ski racer at Dartmouth College — won the NorAm giant slalom, staged at the venue that will host the World Cup Finals next March.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Vermont finished second on Thursday with Brennan Rubie of Salt Lake City in third place.

Both Rubie and Cochran-Siegle are former ski racers at Westminster College in Utah.

Italy’s Giulio Bosca finished fourth with Erik Read of Canada fifth.

Read is a current University of Denver ski racer; he helped the Pioneers win the recent NCAA title in Steamboat.

“I was hitting it hard when I needed to, and I was smooth when I needed to be,” Ford said as he received congratulations in the finish area Thursday afternoon. “The top part is usually the toughest. But the snow was the best there; you could really push the limit there.”

Ford, who trained for a time with the Aspen Valley Ski Club, said he enjoys the course at Aspen Mountain.

The challenging and changing snow conditions added to the difficulty Thursday, he said.

“The snow was determining how I skied on that (second) run. Pretty soft snow on that run,” said Ford, who build a commanding lead with a dynamic first run.

The linking section on Summer Road was fast, he said.

“It was quick through there, both sets,” Ford said. “It’s such fun, playful terrain.”

Current Dartmouth ski racers competed in Thursday’s field along with more top college skiers from the University of Colorado, Vermont, Nevada-Reno, New Mexico and Utah.

“There are a lot of college racers here,” said Rob Greg of the University of New Mexico. “The top college skiers are up with the top NorAm (racers).”

Greg, a native of Canada, jumped at the opportunity to ski on an NCAA Division I team in New Mexico.

“It’s great. I love it,” Greg said. “We get to come up to great resorts with great snow … like Aspen, Steamboat. They’re some long drives. But then we get back home (to Albuquerque) and it’s summer.”

The college racers joined the GS and will race in today’s slalom.

NCAA ski racing does not include speed events like downhill and super-G.

Friday’s men’s NorAm slalom will feature a first run at about 10 a.m. and a second run about 12:30 p.m., subject to last-minute changes.

There are no women’s technical NorAm events in Aspen. The women competed in the NorAm speed events earlier this week at Aspen Mountain.

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