WORLD JUNIOR ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS
The U.S. results weren’t nearly as pretty as the surrounding scenery.
World of Hurt
Mikaela Shiffrin’s bronze is the only U.S. medal in a World Junior
Alpine Championships stymied by a stomach bug, a freeskiing crash
and disappointing results BY HANK MCKEE PHOTOS BY HARRY CASTON
The U.S. medal count from the World Junior Alpine
Championships was one. And that came from 15-year-
old Mikaela Shiffrin.
The top- 10 results were also easy to count: three,
thanks to Shiffrin’s bronze medal in the slalom, Keith
Moffat’s fourth place finish in the downhill and Matthew
Strand’s eighth in slalom. All of them were rookie mem-
bers of the World Junior team. It just wasn’t a good
outing for the U.S.
The team went into the title meet, at Crans-Montana,
Switzerland, from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5 with high
hopes. The first race, the men’s GS, put some hurt on
those hopes. The top U.S. skier was Ryan Cochran-
Siegle in 13th place, but he was three-and-a-third sec-
Still, with the win going to a former World Junior GS
winner and the Europa Cup leader, Alexis Pinturault, it
wasn’t too much of a stretch to figure it was just an off
Men’s slalom, the next day, came down to a squad
rookie, Strand, to save the day with his eighth-place
result. And it was a save.
With a starting field of more than 160 racers, the course
was — perhaps — set to shorten the day. More than
half the field exited in the first run. Because of the need
to finish in order to stand a chance in the combined
(a traditional combined calculated from the results of
the event’s downhill, GS and slalom) there was some
caution seen in tactics and a considerable amount of
hiking involved, but the next best U.S. finish beyond
Strand was 26th from Brennan Rubie.
The race was won, in no uncertain fashion, by the de-
fending champion, Reto Schmidiger of Switzerland. He
was more than a second and a half ahead of his team-