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Macuga Scores First Top 10 in Zauchensee

By Mackenzie Moran
January, 14 2024
Lauren Macuga celebrates in the finish.
21-year-old Lauren Macuga earns the first top 10 finish of her career in the Zauchensee super-G on Sunday, Jan. 14.

When 21-year-old Lauren Macuga skied into the finish after her super-G run on Sunday, Jan. 14, she was surprised, to say the least. Macuga, who was the 48th racer to ski the course, had skied into 10th – a career-best result for her and the best result for the Stifel U.S. Ski Team in Zauchensee.

"I came through the finish and thought, 'My run couldn't have been that good' because it didn't feel that good. Then all of a sudden, I heard the announcer say, "Oh my gosh," she said. 

Macuga frantically looked around trying to find the leaderboard to see how she finished. "It didn't even feel real."

As the last Stifel U.S. Ski Team member to cross the finish line on Sunday, Macuga didn't expect to be the only woman who posted a top 30 time, especially since her run didn't feel as solid as her time.

"[My run] was everything I've been trying to do, and I did it," she said. "It didn't feel great, but that's just kind of how it went. I was trying so hard in the right way, and it just gave back, and it was fast." 

The Park City native had her first World Cup start in 2021 and has only posted a top-30 result thrice since. Her best finish in a super-G was 17th in Val d'Isere early on in the 2023-24 season. 

"I've been working so hard, and it's showing," she exclaimed. "It's that little bit of confidence to be like, I know that I've done it, and now I can do it again." 

Macuga's ability to break into the top 10 on Sunday is quite the feat, especially given the tight times posted by all of the competing women throughout the day. Macuga was just 0.58 seconds behind the day's winner, Lara Gut-Behrami. Austria's Cornelia Huetter finished second, 0.25 seconds back, while her teammate, Mirjam Puchner, finished third, 0.26 seconds back.

Stifel U.S. Ski team athletes Bella Wright, Alice Merryweather, and Keely Cashman finished their runs, but outside of the top 30.  Jacqueline Wiles and Tricia Mangan both skied speedy top sections but made mistakes towards the third section of the course and were unable to finish. 

Women's speed continues in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Friday, Jan. 25. The next race on the docket for the women's team is the night slalom in Flachau, Austria, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 12:00 p.m. ET on Peacock. 



Women's super-G



12:00 p.m. ET, – Women's slalom, Flachau, AUT – Peacock