Littman only non-U.S. Ski Team member to podium at Nationals
Julia Littman is the fourth-best combined skier in the United States., even though she’s not on the U.S. Ski Team.
That distinction may soon change. The 19-year-old local proved a lot to herself and to U.S. Alpine Team brass after a solid showing last Friday and Sunday at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska – maybe enough to nab a team spot when the coaches name their roster in mid-April.
Littman finished eighth overall in the women’s downhill Friday and 10th overall in Sunday’s slalom. Her downhill and combined times were also good for two juniors podiums, as she finished third amongst competitors born in/or after 1984 in the downhill and second in the combined – which is an amalgamated ranking taken from both slalom and downhill times.
“My goals were pretty much to podium in the technical events,” Littman said. “Then, during the downhill training days, I kind of found a new side of my skiing which was the speed part. And, it worked out pretty well. I was working for the tech podiums. The speed one was not planned.”
Ethan Beck, Littman’s head coach at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, was also pleasantly surprised with her showing.
“She was the only non-U.S. Ski Team member to podium all week long, and she did it twice,” Beck said. “She has skied with the team a bunch. She’s gone to the camps in the summer and she’s traveled with them some and competed with them some, but she’s not even on the development team.”
At least for now, that is.
Things are up the air for the upbeat Littman, who graduated from VMS last May and went to Middlebury College in Vermont for the first semester this fall before taking second semester off to ski competitively in the Rocky Mountain Division, a regional circuit of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.
She knows that she has put herself in a good spot with her nationals performance, but she also knows that nothing is for certain until she gets the call.
“My goal is to get on the team this April, but it’s kind of out of my control,” Littman said. “It’s based on probably my results at nationals, my (International Skiing Federation) points and my world ranking.”
The other SSCV athletes who made the trip to Alaska for Nationals were Nathan Asoian, Ian Lockhead, Christopher Trim, Kristen and Kristen Poehling.
Contact sports writer Nate Peterson at 949-0555 ext. 608 or via e-mail at email@example.com