Squaw skier Bryce Bennett clinches downhill title | TheUnion.com

Squaw skier Bryce Bennett clinches downhill title

Submitted to The Union

Squaw Valley athlete and U.S. Ski Team member Bryce Bennett, 21, recently clinched the U.S. National Downhill title during the USSA NorAM Speed Series at Copper Mountain Dec. 10.

This is Bennett’s first U.S. title for the men’s downhill crown; he placed second last year.

“It was pretty cold, hovering around zero degrees, partly cloudy and a pretty good day for downhill,” said Bennett. “I had a couple lines picked out that were a little straighter than I did in training. Those that I could just go for, and it worked out.”

Bennett finished out the NorAm Speed Series at Copper, which ended Sunday, before heading over to Europe for the World Cup downhill in Bormio, Italy.

Bennett is a longtime Squaw skier and is a Squaw Valley Ski Team alumnus. He solidified his reputation as an all-around threat during the 2013 season, earning top 10s in downhill and combined at the FIS Alpine Junior World Championships, a silver medal in downhill at the U.S. Championships and a top-10 finish in the NorAm overall standings despite not racing the full tour.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Bryce and his early season win,” said Todd Kelly, ski team program director for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “Kids who grow up skiing at Squaw have an unmatched passion for the sport on and off the race course, which I think has helped our racers to be especially successful in downhill. We’re all rooting for Bryce and hope he will only expand on this win as the season goes on.”

Bennett comes from a long line of Squaw Ski Team members, including Julia Mancuso, Marco Sullivan and Travis Ganong — all Olympic hopefuls for Sochi 2014.

Skiing is in Bennett’s blood — his father was a telemark racer, and his mother worked at Alpine Meadows. He first clicked into skis at the age of 2, before becoming a part of Squaw Valley’s Mighty Mite Program.

Follow Bryce Bennett’s journey at http://usskiteam.com/athletes/bryce-bennett.

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