Dramatic finish caps Sunday at Heroic Killington Cup

Two first-place winners in slalom
Dramatic ending leaves two first-place winners
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 8:44 PM EST
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KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) -The rain waited until just after the festivities came to a close at the Heroic Killington Cup on Sunday. But late in the morning and earlier in the afternoon, there was a little bit of sun and some warmer temperatures, making it a perfect two-for-two on the weekend in terms of good weather, which is fitting because on Sunday two was the magic number.

Burke Mountain Academy’s own Mikaela Shiffrin ended the first leg in the lead by just over two-tenths of a second, but some tougher conditions made for quite the finish in the second leg.

The first skier up was Franziska Gritsch, and she held on to the top time for almost two-thirds of the way through the second run. Down to the final few, Anna Swenn Larsson set the mark to beat, and Wendy Holdener came down the mountain in the exact same time, making it a tie for first place with just Shiffrin to go.

But, for the first time in six years, she came up a few ticks short, finishing in fifth, meaning there were two first-place finishers.

“When I was skiing the second round, I didn’t think it would be that good,” Swenn Larsson (Sweden) said. “I was surprised when I came down and took the lead. We just had to fight all the way to the end.”

“There’s a lot of stuff going on at the moment so I don’t realize it really,” Holdener (Switzerland) said. “But to finish (tied) with Anna was really nice. I don’t know the words. I’m really happy.”

It wasn’t meant to be for Shiffrin, but she says that’s OK.

“In a way, I don’t really care if I win again. I’m doing this because I want to be doing it and I think I can be fast. And I like watching these other women when they ski fast and seeing if I can do it better, maybe I’ll do it better next race. That’ll be really exciting,” Shiffrin said. “That’s kind of where I’m at in this moment and I hope to keep that mentality because it makes everything more enjoyable.”

“When the crowd started getting louder, I could hear it, and I knew it was almost my time [to go],” Shiffrin said of the fans. “It’s a pretty special feeling, we don’t get that every race. It’s pretty much here that we get that and it’s kind of indescribable.”

Middlebury Panther and Green Mountain Valley’s own Ali Nullmeyer finished in 14th place on the day, a run she was pleased with, especially with family and friends watching.

“It’s kind of like a second home to me, so it’s nice to have two groups of people come together and watch me, which they normally don’t get to do.”