Vail skiers finish Alpine Nationals with good results, Jr. Nationals next

A strong contingent of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes raced in the slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships on Sunday. Emma Hall was runner up in the second run of slalom, finished seventh overall. Caroline Jones place ninth overall. First-year FIS athlete Carissa Cassidy finished 31st overall. Hall, left, was second among junior athletes while Jones, right was third.

With U.S. Alpine Nationals now over, local ski racers will enjoy a day off before taking on the junior version of that event.

U.S. Alpine Junior Nationals begin on Wednesday, March 27, in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, which was also the site of the U.S. Alpine Nationals tech races, which wrapped up on Monday.

After skiing well in the slalom on Sunday, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail FIS racer Emma Hall once again put down a solid pair of runs. Her eighth-fastest second run propelled Hall to a 10th place finish overall in the giant slalom after finishing seventh overall on Sunday in slalom. Slalom run No. 2 for Hall was the second fastest in the field.

U.S. Alpine Nationals welcomes all ages but also recognizes juniors for their achievements among the upper-level competitors; Hall was the second junior overall on Sunday and the fourth junior overall on Monday.

That will set her up nicely heading into the junior national championships, coach Mark Smith said.

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“She’s skiing well in this area, for sure,” Smith said from New Hampshire on Monday. “We came out early, we trained on it a couple weeks ago, then we raced NorAm finals and some Eastern Cup races out here.”

Smith said while Hall, 19, is the oldest member of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s female squad racing in New Hampshire, several up-and-comers are right behind her, Carissa Cassidy, Cleo Braun and Caroline Jones, who finished ninth in the slalom on Sunday.

“It’s tough, coming in from (ages 14 and 15 level) racing,” Smith said. “But they’re really stepping up.”

Hall, Jones, Braun and Cassidy are scheduled to compete in the junior national giant slalom on Wednesday and the slalom on Friday.

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