Kyle Negomir wins first-career U.S. Alpine ski championship in super-G
SSCV's Liv Moritz lands on super-G podium and River Radamus ends year with GS bronze
Kyle Negomir remembers coming to U.S. Alpine nationals as a youngster and seeing Ryan Cochran-Siegle step down from the World Cup to dominate his domestic peers.
“When Ryan and Tommy were there, I think that kind of legitimized it,” the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail alumnus said after winning his first U.S. title in the super-G on April 2 at Sun Valley Resort.
“You’re like, ‘oh these guys are fighting for wins at World Cups and they’re coming home and I get to race against these guys — and they would just put me in the dirt. So it feels good to not get put in the dirt this time.”
Negomir navigated soft, new snow on the Warm Springs/Hemingway/Greyhawk course, completing the 647-meter, 38-gate course in 1 minute, 9.82 seconds. Erik Arvidsson finished 0.74 seconds back in second and Isaiah Nelson rounded out the podium. Edwards World Cup giant slalom specialist River Radamus ended up with a DQ on his first run.
“I think it was a super challenging day for everyone, so I was fortunate to make it down with as few of mistakes as possible,” Negomir stated.
Support Local Journalism
“For how much snow they received in the last couple of days, I think it was better than most of us expected. I think there were some sections that got a little soft, but on the whole, for how much snow they’ve had, they produced a raceable surface.”
SSCV had great representation in the top-20, with Carson Hume, William Zurbay and Hunter Salani finishing in 11th, 15th and 18th, respectively. Negomir hinted at enjoying the community and camaraderie felt amongst all the ski brethren at nationals, no matter which circuit athletes’ prioritized prior to arriving in Idaho.
“All the younger guys all the way to the World Cup guys on the team — everyone is together and racing,” he said. “I think we’re all happy to be ski racing and I’m going to try and enjoy the last series as the season’s winding down.”
Moritz nabs super-G podium
On the ladies’ side, SSCV’s Liv Moritz stepped away from leading VMS on the pitch for a few days and was rewarded with a super-G podium on Sunday as well. The senior finished just 0.45 seconds back from the winner, two-time Olympian Tricia Mangan, as U.S. Ski and Snowboard B-team member Keely Cashman came in second.
“This was a little bit of a surprise for me,” Moritz stated in an email to the Vail Daily. “I love super-G though, so I knew if I put down some good skiing, I could be fast; but there were some very good skiers here.”
With the women skiing after the boys, Moritz said she took advantage of her two inspections and being able to watch several of the top men take to the course. She enjoyed the swingy, steep top and overall, felt it was one of the more fun super-G courses she’d ever raced, even with fresh precipitation.
“I didn’t really think much of it,” she said. “Everybody has to ski the same conditions no matter what they are, which helps me stay calm when the conditions aren’t the greatest.”
“That run was wild, it was definitely a battle,” Mangan, who competed against her younger sister Mary for the first time in the race, said. “This was a huge learning year for me and I made really big strides, especially in downhill. I actually struggled with my super-G a little bit, so it feels really good to end it on a good note.”
Fellow SSCV skier Kaitlin Keane joined Moritz in the top 10, finishing sixth. Moritz also placed fifth in Monday’s slalom and 10th in Tuesday’s giant slalom. Heading into the final two tech events, Moritz said she didn’t really have a concrete goal in mind other than to cap off the season skiing at her peak.
“I knew if I skied my best, the results could come,” she said. Before her first run, Moritz reveled in the chance to watch Paula Moltzan and Lila Lapanja, the eventual champion, compete. Wearing bib No. 5, Moritz took advantage of perfect conditions on the first run, trailing only Norwegian Kristiane Bekkestad and Katie Hensien, who would fail to finish her second run.
“I feel like I handled my second run well with the groove, but had a bobble at the bottom of the course which cost me some time,” Moritz continued. “I was surprised when I finished at the bottom — I wasn’t that far back.”
Proud of her overall performance, Moritz, who will ski and play soccer at the DI level next season, said the week has helped her confidence, “or at least given myself validation of my abilities,” and compelled her to set new, higher goals.
“I’ve always wanted to become a better GS skier,” she said. “And I think that’s going to be important in the upcoming seasons and will also help my other disciplines.”
“Liv is at a great place in her ski racing right now,” added SSCV Alpine FIS head women’s coach Lisa Perricone. “She is an incredible athlete and should have all the confidence in the world to continue her athletic career wherever it takes her, and to whichever level.”
Perricone also praised the skiing of Tianna Bruce, who had two top-20 finishes in the slalom and GS and a top-30 finish in the super-G and Anastacia Stocker’s top-30 in the GS.
“The FIS women’s team has had great success at all levels throughout the season,” Perricone continued. “Most importantly it has been incredible to watch how much they care to be a team. To see them care for everyone, lift everyone up, and strive to move up together has been motivating to witness as a coach.”
Redemption for Radamus
After a disqualification in Monday’s super-G and a DNF in Tuesday’s slalom, River Radamus found some redemption in the final event of the season, placing third in Wednesday’s giant slalom. Still, the Edwards skier sounded like he was hoping for a little more.
“Feels alright,” he said in the finish area after. “I really wanted to execute on the first run and I just skied a little too aggressive.”
Radamus said the Sun Valley snow felt slightly different compared to the European stuff he’s been carving up all year. “It’s great — but it’s just so responsive,” he continued. “So I sent myself straight through a gate; I knew I cost myself a lot.”
Radamus had the fourth-fastest first and second runs on the day to finish with a combined time of 2:12.50. Run No. 1-leader George Steffey struggled to just the 20th-fastest second run, allowing Radamus to leapfrog onto the podium. Tommy Ford (2:12.25) took the win and Brian McLaughlin (2:12.25) finished in second.
“Didn’t ski perfect, but I was really happy with how I skied,” Radamus said of his second run. “I wanted George to win it, obviously I thought he earned it after the first run, so I was bummed to see him fall short, but Brian and Tommy — I’m honored to share the podium with them.”
Radamus, who has finished 15th and 20th in the World Cup GS cup standings in the last two seasons, respectively, also commented on the importance of U.S. nationals for American skiing in general.
“I remember how big it was for me when I was growing up, getting to race against the World Cuppers and seeing where I stack up — so every opportunity I get, I’m going to come back,” he said.
“(I’m) going to compete and show the best level so that I’m around and make it seem more real to these guys. It’s awesome to be racing back in the U.S. It was a great sendoff for the season.”