Ligety runs to career-best seventh in the super-G at Beaver Creek
Vail, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” At this stage in his career, Ted Ligety should know better ” don’t scare Mom.
In Saturday’s super-G at the Birds of Prey, Ligety put together the best run of any American, racing into a tie for seventh place with a time of 1 minute, 13.9 seconds. After the race, his mom told Ligety he was practicing his ballet moves during a couple of anxious midair moments.
“I had a couple of kind of sketchy errors,” Ligety said. “It wasn’t perfect in that sense by any means. Luckily, if you make mistakes in the air, you’re not on the snow, scrubbing speed. Those are good places to make mistakes. I’m sure my parents were a little nervous watching that, but I made it to the finish line in one piece, so they can relax now.”
Ligety’s run around The Pumphouse ranked right there with the best of the day. More than a handful of skiers fell victim to that portion of the course, but not Ligety. He stayed close with the leaders throughout and ended with the highest super-G finish of his career.
“The run went really well,” Ligety said. “This is a really good hill for me. It’s steep in its terrain the whole way down. That top section had a really nice rhythm. I got into it on the first turn, just really clean on the first turn. When it straightened out, I knew where to go, and I nailed the tactical section on that big turn that a lot of people were missing. From there, I just ended up in the right spot.”
Bode Miller has been one of the most exciting skiers at the Birds of Prey, but unfortunately most of the time, it’s been for the wrong reasons. On Friday, Miller wiped before the Screech Owl Jump during the downhill to end his day. He faced similar problems on Saturday. This time, he steered wildly out of bounds, nearly fell, then recovered in time to make it around the next gate before almost tumbling again.
After nearly ending his run early, Miller made up time through the middle section of the course and finished 14th, pretty astonishing all things considered.
“He might have skied too direct, maybe pinched off a turn or two and it caught up with him,” Miller’s retired former coach, John McBride said. “It was a pretty super-human recovery, not everyone could have pulled that off.
After Ligety’s seventh place, the American contingent’s most impressive runs came from team members who raced late in the day. T.J. Lanning continued to ski well, racing in the No. 52 bib all the way to 26th place. On Friday, Lanning finished 13th in the downhill.
“I’m really excited with the way I’m skiing,” Lanning said. “That’s all I’m concentrating on before the race starts, just my skiing ” not the outcome. (I’m trying) to keep it simple like that, and keep having fun because I love the sport of skiing.”
Scott Macartney made a similar move up the chart, going from the No. 46 bib to 24th place in a time of 1:14.69.
“I’m pretty psyched,” Macartney said. “Besides our guys, not many guys come back from in the 40s to really score. I definitely wanted to score points here to move up. Just for confidence, too. Being in the top-30 is really necessary. As a weekend, it was really solid.”
Marco Sullivan (22nd) and Steven Nyman (25th) also scored points for the Americans. Considering Sullivan was the second skier to race, his finish becomes even more impressive because he didn’t have the advantage of getting course information from other skiers.
In danger of falling out of the top-30 in the super-G, Nyman’s finish in the points is big for keeping him in the first group of skiers.
“I haven’t finished a super-G in a while,” Nyman said. “I’m on the verge of getting knocked out of the (top) 30. This will keep me in the 30. I’m pretty stoked about that. It’s OK, but certainly not my best skiing.”
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.