Trifecta time: Ackerman wins the giant slalom
VAIL ” For the first time in three days, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s Delainey Ackerman wasn’t in first place after she came down Golden Peak.
Thursday morning, Ackerman sat in third place, 0.38 seconds behind Summit’s Joelle Chevalier, with one run to go.
But Ackerman’s stay out of first was fleeting, as she used a near-perfect second run of 56.50 seconds to win the giant slalom in 1 minute, 52.96 seconds at the Rocky Mountain/Central J3 Junior Olympics.
“In the pitch, I skied pretty well, but I knew that wasn’t going to cut it,” Ackerman said of her second run. “I cut off as much line as I could on the bottom and just went for it. I had an amazing bottom. That’s where I won the super-G Wednesday, at the bottom.”
Olivia Davis (1:53.18) also trailed Chevalier after the first run, but had the only other sub-57-second final run that gave a second-place finish to complement her identical finish in Wednesday’s super-G.
“My first run was clean, but on one turn I scrubbed a bit,” Davis said. “On my second run, I was clean through the whole thing.”
Chevalier (1:53.28) had the fourth-fastest second run, and took the final podium spot for her second top-10 finish of the week.
Buck Hill’s Andrea Radke started her second run in eighth place, but finished the race in fourth with a time of 1:55.08.
SSCV’s Jocelyn Irwin earned her third top-10 finish of the week, taking eighth.
“My switches on the pitch were late and I had my timing off and it caught up to met at the bottom,” Irwin said of her first run. “(The second) run was good up top, but I lost my outside ski pressure a little bit and got really and I got off my line again,” Irwin said.
Ackerman wasn’t too worried about sitting in second place after her first run.
“I was only about three-tenths of a second out, and it wasn’t big enough that I couldn’t make it up,” Ackerman said.
Also, the morning course-set wasn’t as well suited to Ackerman’s racing style.
“It was a lot tighter in the morning,” Ackerman said. “It was really quick and I’m typically not a quick-switching person, but I had an amazing run for how I ski. The second run was a little more open and gave me more room to go straighter and charge.”
Although Ackerman sat in second in between runs, she felt Chevalier was in a tough position.
“If you go in to (the second run) with a small lead, you feel the pressure,” Ackerman said.
Down the line
Other SSCV finishers include Whitney Setterberg (15th, 1:57.26) Abby Ghent (20th, 1:58.46), Lizzie Seibert (25th, 1:59.00), Marisa Ammaturo (33rd, 2:01.07), Mary Sackbauer (40th, 2:02.99) and Ashley Atkinson (55th, 2:06.95)
Saturday, the girls will be back on the hill for the slalom.
So, will Ackerman be able to pull a sweep?
“People don’t think of me as a slalom skier, so I have the opportunity of not having the pressure because people don’t expect me to win,” Ackerman said. “I’ve never won a slalom in my life.”
Chances are, if she wins, her SSCV teammates will be just as happy for her as they’ve been all week.
“She’s been skiing awesome all season, and she deserves (to win). She works her butt off,” Irwin said.
Today, the boys will be battling it out for the giant slalom crown.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or email@example.com.