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Lillis Podiums, Tanner Named Aerials Rookie of the Year

By Ryan Odeja - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
March, 10 2024
The Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes on the podium after winning the 2023-24 Nations Cup
The Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes on the podium after winning the 2023-24 Nations Cup. (Andrey Kulagin).

Chris Lillis capped off the 2023-24 aerials World Cup circuit third on the podium on the day and third in the overall season standings. 

The Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes took on the final World Cup of the season today in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Things took an unexpected turn as intense fog rolled in, causing results to be based on the qualification round. 

All five U.S. women and two men were set to compete in today’s finals, with Chris Lillis and Tasia Tanner leading the way in third and fifth, respectively. Lillis completed an excellent back full double full full, besting some of the greats, including overall silver medalist Pirmin Werner of Switzerland. Connor Curran landed just outside the top five in sixth. Derek Krueger finished 22nd.

Tanner executed a technically proficient back lay full on the women’s side to put herself in fifth place. Karenna Elliott was not far behind in seventh, followed by Kaila Kuhn in eighth, Winter Vinecki in 10th and Megan Smallhouse in 11th. 

In a typical competition, many athletes save their higher-difficulty tricks for later rounds to secure themselves a spot in finals by perfecting their easier skills early on. This choice had a big impact in today’s competition due to the cancelation of finals. Athletes who chose to perform harder skills in qualifying, such as Marion Thenault of Canada, were automatically in a better position in today’s scenario. 

The most significant impact of today’s format change was regarding the overall aerials Crystal Globe. Heading into the final competition, Winter Vinecki led the standings by just 12 points ahead of Australia's Danielle Scott. Vinecki qualified in 10th, while Scott was in second place, allowing Scott to take over the Crystal Globe. Although Vinecki did not finish on top, this was still a breakthrough season for her as one of the only women competing triples and consistently in contention for the top box in any competition. 

This season was also a breakthrough for Tasia Tanner, who was awarded the coveted FIS Rookie of the Year award. Her consistent performances and beautiful execution made her the obvious choice for this year's award. Tanner's results, along with every member of the team’s results, led the U.S. to win the overall aerials Nations Cup for the 2023-24 season. The award is an accumulation of the entire team’s results across the season compared to those of other nations. 

RESULTS
Women
Men

Shiffrin Returns With a Win, Clinches Slalom Crystal Globe

By Courtney Harkins - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
March, 10 2024
mikaela
Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after winning her first race back from injury and clinching the slalom Crystal Globe. (Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin of the Stifel U.S. Ski Team made a dramatic return to the World Cup after weeks away on injury, winning the slalom in Åre, Sweden, by 1.24 seconds and clinching a record-tying eighth career slalom Crystal Globe.

Shiffrin had not competed since the end of January when she crashed in the downhill at Cortina d’Ampezzo, straining her meniscus. Since then, she has worked relentlessly over the last six weeks to get her knee ready to race again. She announced just prior to Åre that she would just be skiing the slalom and skipping the giant slalom.

“Everything was so day by day and step by step,” said Shiffrin after the race. “If I thought about the future, even if it was a week from that point, I would just start panicking. Even last week, we weren’t sure if I could ski either of these races, even just the slalom. It was important to stay in the right mind at the moment.”

She had a strong run out of the start on the first run to finish first and didn’t take anything off in the second run, skiing aggressively in a fast-tempo course to win by more than a second.

“There has been so much uncertainty coming into this race,” said Shiffrin. “The biggest goal I had was good skiing in the final races of the season. Having the chance to do that again before the season was over felt so important so I could prove that I have the right pace and mentality to close out the season, so next year, I will start in a better place. That was really important to me.”

Shiffrin beat out Zrinka Ljutic of Croatia, who finished second. Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was third.

The win clinched Shiffrin’s eighth Crystal Globe in slalom, tying her with Lindsey Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark, who also hold eight discipline Globes. Stenmark’s are in giant slalom and slalom, while Vonn’s are in downhill. Marcel Hirscher also has eight overall crystal Globes.

Despite being out for six weeks with an injury, Shiffrin only missed one slalom World Cup. Out of the 10 possible slalom races, she won six, had one second place, and had one-fourth to capture her 16th total Globe.

Åre is a treasured place for Shiffrin, hosting many of her best moments in her career. It was the site of her first World Cup win when she was 17. She won the gold medal in slalom there at the 2019 World Championships. She became the winningest alpine skier of all time last season when she won her 87th career World Cup at the same venue.

Paula Moltzan also had a great day, finishing 10th and standing 10th overall in the slalom standings. Moltzan was third place in the last slalom World Cup and has five top-10 results in slalom this season. AJ Hurt and Lila Lapanja did not qualify for a second run.

The women have one final slalom at World Cup Finals in Saalbach, Austria, on March 16.

RESULTS
Women’s slalom

Vedder Second in Cortina

By Sadie Texer - Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team
March, 10 2024
jake vedder
Jake Vedder stands in second on the podium in Cortina. (FIS)

Seven members of the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team qualified for the round of finals under the lights in Cortina, Italy, a season high for the squad. Olympian Jake Vedder was once again the top finisher for the men, taking second place in dramatic fashion. 

Vedder left it all on the course, throwing himself across the line to force a photo finish review. Despite the effort, Vedder was unable to edge out Canada’s Eilot Grondin, who continues to dominate the World Cup circuit. This marks Vedder’s third podium of the season and his second consecutive following a third place finish in Sierra Nevada last weekend.

“It was amazing to race under the lights here in Italy,” said Vedder, “I was second at this venue last year and felt really good energy coming into this race. I’m very happy with my performance but it’s a team effort and I want to give a lot of credit to my wax techs for putting me on the fastest boards possible and my coaches for making sure my line choices were dialed. Excited to head into Montafon next week. Gotta keep this train rolling!”  

Joining Vedder on the men’s side was Olympian Hagen Kearney and teammates Tyler Hamel and Senna Leith, but all three fell in the eighth final, while Olympic gold medalist Nick Baumgartner ended his night in the quarterfinals.

Rookie Nathan Pare had his best World Cup result of his career, qualifying all the way through to the small final and ultimately taking seventh place.

Lindsey Jacobellis was the sole American competitor on the women’s side but unfortunately fell short of advancing out of the quarterfinal. 

The Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team snowboard cross riders shift their focus to the upcoming World Cup double header in Montafon, Austria March 15-17.

RESULTS
Women
Men

Mastro Clinches Dew Tour Title, Winkelmann Second in Street

By Sadie Texer - Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team
March, 10 2024
maddie mastro
Maddie Mastro stands atop the podium at the Dew Tour. (Dew Tour)

Maddie Mastro capped off her dominant World Cup season with a win in the superpipe at the 2024 Dew Tour. Despite earning multiple podium finishes throughout her career, the win is particularly sweet as it marks her first time on top of the podium in five years, with her last victory coming at the 2019 Burton U.S. Open.

The win wasn’t going to be easy for Mastro, who was up against a stacked field of riders including 2023-24 FIS World Cup crystal globe winner Mitsuki Ono. Mastro finished second to Ono in the World Cup overall standings this season and the two were favored to battle it out for the top spot in Saturday’s competition.

Sitting in third heading into her third run, Mastro seemed relaxed yet determined, as she dropped in the iconic Dew Tour superpipe for the final time. The crowd anxiously watched from the bottom, knowing her position on the podium would ultimately come down to if she could land her signature last hit, the double crippler.

“It’s one of my favorite tricks to do, so nerves are very minimal,” said Mastro. “In that moment I’m just trying to tell myself to breathe and go over what to do in my head. The win feels pretty amazing, I’ve had a lot of seconds and thirds in my career so this one feels really, really good.”

Mastro was joined by teammates Sonora Alba and Kinsley White, who finished the day in fourth place and sixth place, respectively.

Attention shifted to the streetstyle course where Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team’s Luke Winkelmann threw down under the lights in front of a rowdy crowd of fans. After qualifying out of heat two in the top spot, Winkelmann put down two solid runs to best Salt Lake City streetstyle icon Joey Fava in the round of duals, guaranteeing him a spot on the podium.

Canadian’s Liam Brearly and Darcy Sharpe joined Winkelmann in the final round where the best of two runs would decide the podium order. Winkelmann’s run two score of 88.66 was good enough to best Sharpe but not enough to take the top spot away from Brearly, whose breakout season has been nothing short of impressive.

The Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team continues their Dew Tour campaign Sunday, March 10 with the men’s snowboard superpipe competition.

RESULTS
Dew Tour Results

Ferreira Wins Dew Tour, Marking Perfect Season

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 9 2024
Ferreira Goepper
Alex Ferreira stands atop the podium on his seventh win of seven events in the 2023-24 season, marking a perfect season.

Alex Ferreira did what no other freeskier has done before, winning seven out of the seven halfpipe events on Saturday. He took his seventh victory at the men’s freeski superpipe at the 2024 Dew Tour to cement his place in the record books, lacing together the most dominant season in freeski history.

Along with a perfect World Cup season where he won all five events he entered, Ferreira’s X Games victory in February put him in the position to accomplish the 7/7 feat. With history on the line, Ferreira dropped into the Dew Tour superpipe under sunny skies and in front of a crowd of excited fans hoping to witness the seemingly impossible.

Ferreira seemed to have history locked in after only run one, scoring a huge 92.66, ending with his signature pole swing. But in typical Ferreira fashion, he had more tricks up his sleeve and one-upped himself on run two, scoring a 94.33 in what would ultimately be the history-making run. 

“The season started with a dub and ended with a dub,” said Ferreira, “I can’t believe it, perfect season? I’m in awe and just so grateful. Best day of my life.”

Ferreira was unable to land a double-cork 18 on his final run, a trick that has never been done in freeski halfpipe competition, but the attempt left an impression, showing he has no signs of slowing down heading into the 2024-25 season.

2013 Dew Tour freeski slopestyle champion Nick Geopper earned his first Dew Tour halfpipe podium with a second place finish, scoring a 91.00 to put him just behind teammate Ferreira. Sporting his signature pair of Lucky jeans, Geopper debuted a new final hit to earn himself a spot on the Dew Tour podium to end his highly anticipated comeback season.

Stifel U.S. Freeski Team teammates Hunter Hess, Tristan Feinberg and Dew Tour legend David Wise joined Ferreira and Goepper in the field of eight competitors. Hess finished fifth, Feinberg landed in sixth and Wise rounded out the field in eighth.

RESULTS
Men's superpipe

USA Alpine Masters Win Big at the 2024 FIS World Criterium Masters

By Lauren Beckos
March, 9 2024
Richard Slabinski (1st) and Chris Maxwell (2nd) podium in 60-64yr Men's age classin the GS at the 2024 FIS World Criterium Masters Event at Kimberley Alpine Resort
Richard Slabinski (1st) and Chris Maxwell (2nd) podium in 60-64yr Men's age class in the GS at the 2024 FIS World Criterium Masters Event at Kimberley Alpine Resort

The 2024 FIS World Criterium Masters event was held at Kimberely Alpine Resort in BC March 1-7.  The event featured 148 racers from 15 countries - CAN, USA, AUS, AUT, CHI, CZE, EST, FRA, GBR, GER, HUN, ITA, JPN, SUI, SWE. The USA Masters delegation included 41 racers between 38-88 years old. The week started with significant snow and event delays but with a little luck and a lot of effort and hard work from the organizers, all planned races were able to be held over the 5 days of competition!

The USA Racers won big bringing home 60 medals from the event!

Knut Olberg and Paul Rogers Age Class 11(80-84) at the WCM GS at Kimberley ResortLeisl Panke and Carmen DeBello GS Champs at the WCM at Kimberly Resort

 

2024 Kimberley WCM USA Results

 

Full event results on the FIS website 

Video Recap

Facebook Photo Albums from the Canadian Alpine Masters (look for the ones that say WCM)

Moltzan, Hurt Top 15 in Are

By Mackenzie Moran
March, 9 2024
Paula Moltzan
Getty Images

The final tech series of the regular World Cup season for the Stifel U.S. Ski Team women kicked off on Saturday, March 9. Paula Moltzan and AJ Hurt finished back-to-back in the giant slalom in 10th and 11th, respectively. 

For Moltzan, finishing in the top 10 was a feat within itself, given a mistake in her first run that sent her hip dragging heading into the final gates of the race. 

"I think we're pretty darn close as a team to where we want to be, but I feel a couple of steps behind in GS right now," said Moltzan. "I think I need to find another second or so to contend with the top five, but I've had a pretty consistent GS season. It hasn't been perfect, but it's been good, so I'm happy with it."

For Hurt, this is her fifth finish in the top 15 this season. After kicking off the year in Soelden, unable to qualify for a second run, ending her giant slalom year less than half a second out of the top 10 feels good. 

"It's been a long road, but I feel like we're finally getting there," Hurt said in response to a comment about the development of the U.S. women's tech team. "Our coach, Magnus Andersson is from Sweden and he just wants us to do well and I think we want to prove him right."

On Sunday, both Moltzan and Hurt will compete in the final slalom of the regular season. Mikaela Shiffrin will also return to racing after her injury in Cortina. 

RESULTS
Women's giant slalom

SLALOM STARTERS
Mikaela Shiffrin (5)
Paula Moltzan (13)
AJ Hurt (32)
Lila Lapanja (48)

HOW TO WATCH
4:30 a.m. - run 1, women's slalom - LIVE on skiandsnowboard.live
7:30 a.m. - run 2, women's slalom -  LIVE on skiandsnowboard.live
Watch on-demand on Outside Watch

Stevenson Defends Dew Tour Title, Hall Takes Third

By Sadie Texer - Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team
March, 9 2024
Colby Stevenson

It was déjà vu at Friday night's 2024 Dew Tour Men's Ski Streetstyle competition, with defending champion Colby Stevenson reclaiming the top spot and Stifel U.S. Freeski Team teammate Alex Hall taking third for the second year in a row. American Tucker Fitzsimons, brother of Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team's Sean Fitzsimons, defended his second place position from last year's contest. 

In route to the title, Stevenson qualified in the top spot out of heat three, took out USA's Andrew Egan in a close round of duals and won the final with a high score of 96.00. 

The atmosphere was electric, with DJ Ship Wrek performing right next to the course to hype up fans and spectators. 

"Honestly, this is one of the best crowds we get. I was feeding off the energy for sure," said Stevenson. "With everyone chanting, I was stoked. 

"This is such a sick event, Dew Tour is one of the biggest in our sport so this means a lot to have everyone out here to support."

The 20th year of Dew Tour continues Saturday, March 9, with the men's ski superpipe, women's snowboard superpipe, women's ski streetstyle and men's snowboard streetstyle. The women's ski superpipe, originally scheduled for Friday afternoon, was postponed to Sunday morning, March 10.

Diggins, Brennan Top 15 in First Ever Women's 50k Classic

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
March, 9 2024
jessie diggins
Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan ski in the 50k classic mass start in Oslo, Norway. (NordicFocus)

The Holmenkollen cross country ski race stands as a pinnacle in the world of skiing, tracing its roots back to the late 1800s. Year after year, this iconic event asserts its prominence as one of the rowdiest, most attended races on the World Cup circuit, and this year was no exception. With Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan both securing spots in the top 15 and all USA racers within the top 30, the inaugural women's 50k classic was nothing short of exciting.

The day began with wax technicians and coaches getting an early start to test skis, finding the best kick and glide for the 30+ mile race. However, they weren't alone in their early prep - fans were already out in force as the sun rose over Oslo. Known for its passionate spectators, the Holmenkollen draws thousands upon thousands of fans, turning the event into a veritable national celebration, filled with cheering, drinking, fireworks - you name it, its there. The Norwegian fervor for cross-country skiing transforms the Holmenkollen into the Super Bowl of their nation and the scene was something to see. 

Today's race was exclusively for the women, with the men set to tackle the course tomorrow. Among the 39 women on the mass start line, there were four Americans: Brennan, Diggins, Laukli, and McCabe. Diggins, wearing the coveted yellow bib, led the charge alongside Brennan, currently sitting fourth overall. Despite less than ideal snow conditions, deteriorating rapidly to a sugary texture, the stage was set for a challenging race from the outset.

As the gun signaled the start, the pace was relentless. With six laps ahead, the competition was fierce, and the stakes were high. The lead pack, including eventual winner Sweden's Frida Karlsson, set a blistering pace, closely trailed by athletes from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the USA. Karlsson's decisive move over 15k from the finish left the competition trailing, but the excitment of seeing the world's best only feet away kept the momentum charging and the fans decibel levels getting even higher. 

As fatigue set in and the race drew to a close, Karlsson secured the victory, with teammate Ebba Andersson in second and Germany's Katharina Hennig in third. Diggins raced to an 11th place, Brennan 13th, Laukli 25th, and McCabe 28th, with Diggins maintaining her lead in the overall World Cup standings heading into the next race in Drammen, Norway.

Reflecting on her performance, Brennan left with a positive message, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of success in sport. "No race is defined by the results - there’s so much more that goes into having a performance and finding your best self. For me today, that was a result I’m proud of."

Tomorrow, the men will get their chance on the infamous track, with coverage starting at 4:45 a.m. ET, live on skiandsnowboard.live

RESULTS
Women

Kauf, Giaccio, Wendler Podium in Almaty Dual Moguls

By Ryan Odeja - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
March, 9 2024
Landon Wendler on the podium
Landon Wendler on the dual moguls podium in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Andrey Kulagin).

The Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls athletes wrapped up their time in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with today’s dual moguls event, where Landon Wendler earned his first World Cup podium alongside teammates Jaelin Kauf and Olivia Giaccio. 

At only 216 meters long, today’s course was one of the shortest the athletes raced this season. The short course led to athletes taking more risks in an attempt to take out their opponents, leading a few to lose their composure and ski outside of the control gates. 

The U.S. athletes started their show right off the bat in qualification, where all 12 Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls athletes advanced to the finals. The team avoided dueling against each other in the early rounds, leading to their success. 

Landon Wendler led the way for the U.S. men, taking out impressive opponents, including Matt Graham of Australia and Julien Viel of Canada. Wendler faced off with the greatest mogul skier of all time, Mikael Kingsbury of Canada, in the semifinals. He kept his composure and advancing to the small final, where he finished third, his first career World Cup podium. Wendler’s previous personal best in duals was seventh, which he earned in Almaty this time last year. 

“It means the world to finally stand on the box with people who I have looked up to my whole career,” said Wendler. “As well as all of the hard work and dedication to finally make my dreams come true. I couldn’t have made that dream come true without my parents coaches and friends.” 

Nick Page also advanced to the quarterfinals, finishing eighth, followed by Dylan Walczyk in 10th, Cole McDonald in 12th, and Dylan Marcellini in 16th. 

On the women’s side, we witnessed the familiar sight of Jaelin Kauf and Olivia Giaccio side-by-side on the podium as they finished second and third overall. Kauf took on overall moguls World Cup Crystal Globe winner Jakara Anthony in the big final. The results were as close as you can get, with Anthony winning 18-17. In the small final, Giaccio went head to head with teammate Tess Johnson in another close win of 18-17. The U.S. women swept second-sixth place, with Johnson in fourth, Hannah Soar in fifth and Alli Macuga sixth. Advancing to the round of 16 included Kasey Hogg, finishing 14th, and Elizabeth Lemley in 15th. 

Next up, the team heads to their final World Cup of the season in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy for dual moguls World Cup finals Mar. 16.

RESULTS
Women
Men