Ghent finishes second on Nor-Am circuit
Vail, CO Colorado
At the start of the season, Edwards native Abby Ghent set a goal to finish in the top three overall in GS, super-G and downhill on the Nor-Am circuit.
Check. Check. Check.
The 20-year-old Ski Club Vail alumna finished the season second in downhill, second in super-G (first for North Americans) and third in GS. She also took second in the overall series standings, just behind fellow U.S. Ski Team member Julia Ford, who dominated the continent this year.
The Nor-Am circuit makes its way around North America throughout the winter and is the top alpine race series this side of the Atlantic. Ghent also made two trips across the pond to race on the Europa Cup, which is one level below the World Cup.
Ghent is among the women of Vail racing at a slushy U.S. Alpine National Championships in Winter Park this week. She joins the company of Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin and retired ripper Sarah Schleper, who made a brief appearance in the slalom.
With her stellar finishes across the board in the Nor-Am series, Ghent has solidified at least a couple starts on the World Cup next winter.-Her season consisted of extensive racing and traveling; there hasn’t been much time for training with the busy competition schedule. For the most part, traveling with the U.S. Ski Team has been a great time, she said.
“It’s mostly fun. The only thing I miss is the Colorado sunshine and the mountains in Colorado. But it’s awesome to see other places,” Ghent said. “I’ve been to a lot of new places, like St. Moritz and Solden. And I got to revisit some other places that I really like.”
Ghent was named to the U.S. Ski Team’s Development squad three season’s ago, and having already been invited to train with the Europa Cup team this year, she’s a safe bet for the C-team next winter.
“I’ll be training and racing with higher-level girls, so that’s always a benefit,” Ghent said. “In downhill and super-G, I’ve been working on finding my tuck more for aerodynamics. And in every event, I’ve been working on cleaning up my turn just a little. I’m a little slidey at the top sometimes, which isn’t fast.”
Ghent said she’s emphasizing the speed events a bit more, but GS is still one of her favorites – and she hasn’t given up on slalom. “I’ve had days when I’ve skied significantly faster than other days, so I’m still working on slalom.”
Ghent stays in touch with her former SSCV coach Dan Stripp, who coached her onto the national team.
“It’s nice whenever I come to a race that (Stripp) is also at,” Ghent said. “He knows my skiing, so he can sometimes pinpoint something that my coaches didn’t notice or I’ve forgotten about – little key words that I’ve used throughout the years. And it’s always nice to see a familiar face.”
Plans for the summer can be summed up in one word: skiing.
But she’s not exactly sure where she’ll be skiing – probably Chile for speed camp or New Zealand for tech training, the usual summertime destinations for the team. First and foremost, the spring is a great time to be at home and off skis, she said.
“I’m looking forward to hanging out, spending time with the family, enjoying the sun and not worrying about skiing for a little while,” Ghent said.-
National super-G results
1. Dustin Cook, CAN
2. Tommy Ford, USA
3. Jared Goldberg, USA
Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
23. Sean McCormick
50. Nick Braun
63. Christoph Niederhauser
1. Julia Mancuseo
2. Leanne Smith
3. Laurenne Ross
Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
26. Katharine Irwin