Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

FINISHING FIRST – Sweden’s Ella Bromee of the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) races to first in the slalom event of the FIS Aurora Cup Sunday at Mount Sima.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

POWERFUL PROFITT – UAA’s Ainsley Profitt of the U.S. finished first in Saturday’s giant slalom.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

WONDERFUL WOLVES – The University of Alaska, Anchorage Sea Wolves ski team poses for a photo Sunday at Mount Sima. The team dominated the FIS Aurora Cup again this year.

Alaskans dominate FIS Aurora Cup podium for second straight year

Make it two-for-two for the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) Sea Wolves.

By Morris Prokop on November 24, 2023

Make it two-for-two for the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) Sea Wolves.

For the second straight year, the team dominated the overall podiums at the FIS Aurora Cup at Mount Sima.

Leading the way was Jan Ronner of Austria, who captured first in the giant slalom Saturday and in the slalom on Sunday.

Ronner said the races were great.

“The conditions are always great here, like last year. The weather was a little bit cold but the races were nice and it was fun.

“Yesterday it was a little bit difficult. It was snowing a little bit and in the second run, the visibility was not really good and you couldn’t see the line, so it was not easy to ski it but it was still fun.”

Ronner said it’s always good to start the season with a win .

“Today, winning too, it’s nice to start with two wins in a row.”

Asked what he attributes his success to, Ronner replied, “We had a couple of good days of training here and I’ve been back home in Austria and been skiing on a glacier a little bit over there already, so I had a really good pre-season this year and the last days training here were great. We had good conditions and really good training, very competitive group of skiers on our team.”

Ronner said he’s getting quite familiar with Mount Sima.

“It’s my third year here now … we’ve been training here a lot. I like the hill. I like the conditions here and it’s always nice to be here.”

Ronner and his teammates are training for one more week at Sima before heading back to Anchorage for more training. After that, he figured he’d be going to the Nor-Am races in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Calgary’s Caeden Carruthers of UAA finished second in the GS and third in the slalom.

Fellow Sea Wolf Moro Bomber of the U.S. came in third in the slalom.

Sparky Anderson, coach of the Sea Wolves, said, “For the amount of time we’ve had to train, the team is looking pretty strong. We made some mistakes in the GS (giant slalom) as a group, but it was only our third day on GS skis. Given that, I felt like the skill level’s there. There was some critical mistakes that the races didn’t go well for everybody.

Anderson said he was “very impressed” with the ski hill.

“They had good balance, the line was good, Mount Sima did an amazing job with the track and hill and all the preparation with the snow, so it was really fair for the whole field.

“Our kids stepped it up today, more so than yesterday.

When asked how the girls skied, Anderson replied, “The girls did fantastic today. They went one through four … they’re looking really great. It’s encouraging for when we get into our college race season.”

UAA”s Ella Bromee of Sweden finished first in the women’s slalom.

“I’m super happy. The conditions were great. We haven’t skied for that long, so I’m really happy with my skiing.”

Bromee is hoping she can get on the podium for the college races this year.

“I would want to ski the World Cup of course. As for now I’m mostly focusing on the college thing.”

Bromee said they have shorter slopes at home than in the Yukon,

She said the Yukon is “awesome. “The conditions are great, and I just love the place. It’s a great GS and slalom hill, too, so I’m super happy to be here.”

Bromee added she came to North America to ski and study the English language.

“It seemed like a fun opportunity so I just went for it.”

Her Alaska teammate, Carmen Nielssen of Norway, laid down a blistering second run to finish first in the run and second overall, finishing only .19 seconds behind Bromee.

“I’m super happy I came in second place yesterday and second place today too, so I’m really happy with my skiing. We’ve not been training for that long. We’ve been here for a week now. It went well.

“I won the second run today, so that was really nice. It was was a nice way to end this weekend.”

Nielssen described the difference between her first and second runs.

“I think I was a bit more aggressive on the second run. I tried to push more, tried to gain speed anywhere I could, so I think I was just more active and pushing the limits in the second run.”

Nielssen said it was a nice start to the season.

“It was a really nice day today with the sun coming out. Yesterday was also nice but it was quite a snowstorm, but it was still fun.”

Nielssen attributed her success to her “great team”, among others.

“My coaches and my team and my family at home that’s cheering for me.

“We’ve been training so hard this fall, doing a lot of dryland training and we were so excited to get back on the snow.”

Calgary’s Ashleigh Alexander completed the podium sweep for the Sea Wolves.

Ainsley Profitt of the U.S. finished first in the giant slalom on Saturday. Profitt came in second in 2022 and captured first in the slalom last year. Profitt said she was “really happy” with her GS win.

“It went my way. Carmen, my teammate, was also laying it down, so it was fun to race against her and show what I could do.

“Every day our team pushes each other and it really helps us ski our best.”

Profitt said the conditions were great for her win.

“The snow was nice and hard, just how I like it.”

Of her success, Profitt said, “I really like Mount Sima. It’s a great place.”

Profijt will be headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming after this.

A couple of the Alaskan skiers will be headed to the Nor-Am at Beaver Creek, Colorado and the rest of the group will be going to an open FIS race at Jackson Hole.

Coach Anderson added, “Thanks to Mount Sima and Whitehorse. We love being here. We really feel like, coming from Alaska, that Yukon’s our true neighbour and partner. Thanks for making us feel welcome. Love coming here every November. Hopefully, we want to continue that tradition.”

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