Vail ski racer River Radamus wraps up breakout season with a win
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes at U.S. Alpine Junior National Championships
Super G – ninth
Super G – 11th
GS – 11th
Slalom – 10th
Super G – 16th
GS – seventh
Slalom – 16th
GS – 14th
Slalom – fifth
GS – 29th
Slalom – seventh
GS – eighth
Slalom – ninth
GS – 27th
GS – 30th
Slalom – fifth
Slalom – fourth
Vail local River Radamus closed out the month of March, and his 2017-18 season, with a pair of podiums at the U.S. Alpine Junior National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho.
After winning the super-G and finishing second in the giant slalom March 28-29, Radamus said he couldn’t be more pleased with how the season turned out for him.
“In your career you’re bound to have a couple of breakout seasons, and this was definitely one of them,” Radamus said. “I didn’t have any goal that I didn’t quite meet this year.”
In addition to getting his first World Cup start at the Birds of Prey super-G in Beaver Creek in December, Radamus said the other highlights of the season were winning the North America Cup overall title and racing in the World Cup giant slalom in the Adelboden, Switzerland, World Cup.
“The Adelboden World Cup is one of the classic, iconic giant slaloms, getting to race that one and getting some experience there was amazing,” Radamus said.
Another memorable moment came in February at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships super-G in Davos, Switzerland, where Radamus hit the podium alongside teammate Luke Winters.
“He and I have been pushing each other for years, and being on that podium with him was really special to me,” Radamus said.
DILLING 3RD AMONG JUNIORS
Radamus also shared a podium on Thursday, March 28, with another ski racer he has known for a long time, his former Ski & Snowboard Club Vail teammate Jacob Dilling.
“We’ve been friends from way back,” Radamus said. “He’s a young guy coming up, really likes to attack it like a lot of the Vail guys do, so he’s exciting to watch for sure.”
Dilling finished third in the super-G and surprised many, including himself.
“I haven’t done very well in super-G in the past,” he said. “I came down and I thought I was in last, I thought there was only three finishers, but I was in third.”
Dilling said the course suited him well as a giant slalom and slalom specialist, and the podium was one of the biggest moments of his career so far.
“It was a very technical course,” he said. “I’ve known River forever and that was the first big event where we’ve been on the podium together, so it was pretty cool.”
Dilling, 18, also finished third in the slalom and third overall for juniors.
Other top finishers for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail included Cooper Cornelius taking fourth place in the giant slalom; Emma Hall, who skied to fifth in the slalom; Caroline Jones, seventh in slalom; Bridger Gile, who was eighth and ninth in the GS and slalom, respectively; Matthew Macaluso, who was fifth in the slalom; and Kyle Negomir, fourth in the slalom. Across the pond at the British National Championships, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Reece Bell, 16, picked up back-to-back wins in the slalom and giant slalom in the U18 division.
OFF SEASON APPROACHING
While Dilling and much of the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail team will wrap up the season in Aspen this week with Rocky Mountain division spring series races, Radamus — who graduated onto the U.S. Ski Team from the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail program — will take some time off.
“I’m going to spend a week or so in Vail and them I’m headed off to Nicaragua for a month and a half,” he said.
While his body will be away from the snow, his mind will not.
“I’m going to be working out and playing volleyball to keep my agility up for ski racing,” he said.
Going into the breakout 2017-18 season, Radamus said his main focus was on strength training.
“What the world’s top 30 has on me most right now is strength, I think,” he said. “Those guys are, generally, a bit older than me and they’re more developed. They’re stronger, so they’re able to attack a World Cup GS from start to bottom, they’re able to put more energy into the ski and rebound it faster.”
Radamus said his technical ability will only get him so far on the World Cup.
“That was probably where I made my biggest jump, going into this season, my strength and fitness,” he said. “I saw that pay big dividends for me coming into this season, so if I keep the same mentality in the gym I think I will gain some more next year.”
Next year, Radamus has guaranteed himself a starting spot at all World Cup events by winning the North America Cup overall this season.
“I don’t know for sure that I’m ready to do a full World Cup Tour just yet, I think I still need to develop my skiing,” Radamus said. “But I’m certainly going to get a lot more World Cup starts next season … the way I skied this year really gave me that opportunity, so I’m excited about that.”