Ritchie wins men’s slalom national title
Vermont native wins first career national title at U.S. Alpine Championships Monday in Aspen.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The U-S Alpine Championships got underway Monday in Aspen with the men’s slalom, with Waitsfield native Ben Ritchie earning the victory, the first national title of his career.
Middlebury College standout Erik Arvidsson placed second to Ritchie in Monday’s race.
The win caps what has been a breakout season for the 20-year-old Green Mountain Valley School alumnus, who also placed 13th in the slalom at the World Championships, and won gold in the event at the World Juniors.
Ritchie spoke with Channel Three Sports on Tuesday after competing in the men’s giant slalom at the U.S. Championships, finishing 23rd. When it comes to winning his first career national title, on top of his impressive achievements in Europe this season, Ritchie is proud of his performances, but also is trying to keep it all in perspective.
“Ski racing is such a unique sport, where there’s so many variables.”, said Ritchie. “Any day, anyone could be the fastest, so I think yesterday I just happen to be the fastest and I’m happy that I came out on top to be national champion and it’s an honor.”
“I was in Europe the whole season and racing with the best skiers in the world and having good results at World Championships and Junior World Championships gave me confidence that if I just go do what I do every other day in skiing, that maybe it won’t be the best on that day, but will still be a good result.”, added Ritchie.
“So when I’m racing, I’m just trying to do the best that I can and, at the end of the day, that’s all you can really do.”
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