NCAA athletes and alumni faced the world this weekend in Lake Louise AB, in the first speed events of the Federation International du Ski (FIS) World Cup Season.
Travis Ganong and Steven Nyman were the top to Americans to finish the race, and they did so in identical fashion, tying for 10th place in Saturday’s downhill. Ganong attended Sierra Nevada Collge while in his first few years with the national ski team, whereas Nyman studied and competed at the University of Utah.
Both have competed at multiple Olympic games and are entering the twilights of their careers, however, they are still the best male speed skiers that the United States has to offer. Despite finishing in the top 10, Nyman said that he expected more from himself in the first race of the season.
“The course was a bit soft and I wasn’t aggressive enough in some spots,” Nyman said to USA Skiing after his run, but he also spoke about how he expects to be on the podium after every race. At 37 years old, it is getting harder for him to keep up with the world’s best, but his knowledge of the World Cup circuit, especially Europe’s complicated tracks will be very helpful for him.
Ganong was happy with his run, which is better than he as ever did at Lake Louise in either the Downhill.
Sunday gave technical skiers a slight advantage, as it was the Super-G, often favouring skiers who are better all-round rather than pure bombers who specialize in downhill. Ganong again finished as the best American, but it was 27-year-old Ryan Cochrane-Siegel, a graduate of Westminster College who came 21st, the second-best American, just one spot ahead of Nyman.
Cochrane is in his last year of college and has a 3.8 GPA, one of the highest in his class. Given that the finished twentieth while also pursuing education, he can still get much better even though he is already 27.
All the athletes, including our NCAA representatives, will now go south to Beaver Creek, Colorado for the second speed weekend of the season.