Michael Ankeny from Wayzata, Minnesota, a member of Team Slalom Tokyo Drift, was the top qualifier in the White Mountain Dual Challenge Saturday at Waterville Valley ski resort in New Hampshire.
"I had experience from the World Pro Ski Tour last year that I drew on today," said Ankeny. "Some of the other competitors were overestimating the jumps, but I knew that I could stay aggressive and take a tight line. I have been in Europe for a month or so, and it was great to get back to the U.S. and ski fast against a great group of guys on the first day of the tour today."
The World Pro Ski Tour event featured top American, Canadian, and European competitors on Tommy's World Cup Run at Waterville Valley. The dual slalom course challenged the racers and the two five-foot tall jumps took some competitors out of the course.
Competing in his first World Pro Ski Tour event, 2018 U.S. Olympian Nolan Kasper is a favorite going into the finals on Saturday, "I had a great time on the hill today and I am looking forward to figuring the course out more tomorrow. The dual slalom format is unique and I'm glad that I am in good position for the finals."
The top New Hampshire racer was Michael Boardman of Pelham, a Colby College graduate in 2017. Boardman has traditionally been a giant slalom specialist but the dual slalom format of the World Pro Ski Tour suited his style. "I loved my first experience on the World Pro Ski Tour because the athletes are incredibly fast, and the atmosphere is so much fun. The format is a bit of a hybrid between slalom and giant slalom, which was good for my skill set. I was surprised at how fast I was, and I hope I can keep it going tomorrow."