Cooper excels in speed events at alpine nationals | SummitDaily.com
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Cooper excels in speed events at alpine nationals

ADAM BOFFEYsummit daily news
Special to the Daily
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ALYESKA, Alaska – By posting two top-10 finishes at the U.S. Alpine Nationals last week in Alaska, Kirsten Cooper took a big step toward fulfilling her long-held goal of making the U.S. Ski Team.Cooper, an 18-year-old Team Summit post-grad, took sixth in an FIS downhill (second junior racer) and eighth in both the national championship downhill and super-G (second junior in both). The impressive results came at the end of a winter that included several DNFs.”I’ve struggled this season to put it together all the way to the finish line,” said Cooper, who failed to finish the slalom and giant slalom during her third trip to nationals. “So it was quite a feeling to be able to do it against such a high level of competition.”

Cooper said taking on a more relaxed mindset helped improve her skiing in Alaska.”As far as results go, it’s a breakthrough,” she said. “I feel like I’ve had the speed all season, I just couldn’t put it together in a race.””All in all, it’s a great honor just to make this difficult event and to achieve a certain amount of success is even better,” Team Summit alpine director Sean Ramsden said.Cooper will look to continue her recent super-G success at next week’s spring series races in Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

“Super-G has been my worst event this season,” she said. “But if I can match my result from nationals, I should be close to making the U.S. team.”If it weren’t for the high concentration of World Cup racers scheduled to compete in California, Cooper would settle for an upcoming spring series at either Breckenridge or Vail.”The penalties will be low, which will give me a better opportunity to lower my points,” she said.The national team is expected to be announced in May.

Cooper was joined in Alaska by fellow Team Summit postgraduates Katie Hartman and Taggart Spenst.Hartman took 17th in the FIS downhill and 22nd in the national GS; and Spenst finished 36th in the FIS downhill, 32nd in the national downhill and 44th in the national super-G.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at aboffey@summitdaily.com.


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