Narvik, Norway….US Ski Team’s Keely Cashman grabbed her career-first FIS Junior World Ski Championships medal with a bronze in Monday’s alpine combined in Narvik, Norway, to lead the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team. Keely Cashman is from Strawberry, CA and is a former Bear Valley & Squaw Valley Ski Team athlete.
Keely Cashman stood on the podium with the formidable Austrian duo of Magdalena Egger and Lisa Grill—who went 1-2 for the third-consecutive event in Narvik, Norway, in Monday’s alpine combined. (Kjell G. Karlsen – Narvik 2020)
For the third-consecutive event at Narvik, the seemingly unbeatable Austrian duo of Magdalena Egger and Lisa Grill went 1-2. Magdalena finished just ahead of countrywoman Lisa in the super-G portion of the combined with a time of 59.24 seconds, while Lisa posted a time of 59.28. After getting fifth-place in Sunday’s super-G, Keely proved she once again could hang with the Austrians, finishing just .31 seconds off Magdalena’s pace in the super-G. All three ladies held their own in the slalom portion of the combined, and Keely secured her career-first World Juniors medal.
Alpine Development Director Chip White noted that Monday’s super-G was a more open super-G set, and less technical and turny. There was a lot more speed coming down that pitch, which resulted in a lot of DNFs. “Keely skied really, really strong in the super-G and put herself in a nice position and had a very solid, stable slalom run. These Austrian girls are very good skiers across the board…they have very fast skis. They get to the flats and they just motor at the bottom of the hill. They’re a formidable duo with fast skis, but they were certainly capable slalom skiers as well, so I’m sure they’ll be in contention in the last two races. It was great to sneak in there and get a medal today.”
Keely said the conditions were challenging, but they reminded her of home, “it was super windy, so the start was moved down a bit, and the snow wasn’t super wet, but it was really mushy, so it was pretty soft. It was kind of like skiing at Squaw, so it was familiar to me. I’m pretty happy with the result.” Hopefully, she added, her result will help build the momentum for the rest of the group. “I think the boys are pretty happy with their slalom run, so hopefully it will help them do well in the super-G,” Keely said. Chip agreed, saying that this medal was important for the team, and it will hopefully stoke the fire.
She’s feeling pretty good about her skiing in the tech disciplines and will look forward to the giant slalom and slalom events, though she knows the Austrians will be tough to beat. “I know they mainly ski speed events, so for me—as someone who doesn’t solely ski speed—to be able to be up there with them is pretty cool. I was telling AJ that one of us needs to dethrone them because they’ve been winning every day,” Keely said with a giggle (she and AJ grew up skiing together at Squaw Valley, Calif. and are best friends).
Katie Twible, U.S. Ski Team Women’s World Cup and Europa Cup Assistant Coach was stoked about the progress Keely has made as well as her ability to keep it cool despite numerous delays. “Keely stepped up and skied awesome today!” Katie shared. “She has just been building all week. There were a ton, of course, holds and start/stops due to weather and crazy wind, and Keely came out of the start ready to roll. She skied well and nailed all the tough sections. It was a long day, with a ton of changes, so I’m really proud of her.”
She added that AJ Hurt, who did not finish in the super-G portion of the alpine combined, carried a lot of speed and skied the top section well, but she came in with that speed and couldn’t hold it. “She will be ready for the GS,” said Katie. Olivia Holm also started for the U.S. but did not finish the super-G portion of the alpine combined.
The men were originally supposed to ski both the slalom and the super-G portions of the alpine combined on Tuesday, but with weather coming in, the organizers modified the program. They were able to successfully run the slalom portion of the combined on Monday. The Americans put themselves in a solid position to strike after the slalom and heading into the super-G portion of the combined, with Bridger Gile in seventh, Isaiah Nelson eighth, Matthew Macaluso 12th, Jacob Dilling 18th, Bradshaw Underhill 19th, and Jack Smith in 27th.
Up next, the men will ski the super-G portion of the alpine combined on Tuesday, as long as the weather allows. You can watch it live via Narvik’s YouTube channel.
WATCH IT LIVE
Catch all of the action via Narvik’s YouTube channel
NARVIK 2020 JUNIOR WORLDS AMERICAN TEAM
NARVIK 2020 COMPETITION SCHEDULE
March 10 – Men’s alpine combined (super-G portion)
March 11 – Women’s giant slalom
March 12 – Men’s giant slalom
March 13 – Women’s and men’s slalom
March 14 – Mixed Parallel Team Event
Source US Ski & Snowboard Megan Harrod