The United States’ best skiers got the full Maine treatment during the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf.

“It was good races. They did a good job of pulling off the races here,” U.S. Ski Team men’s coach Sasha Rearick, who attended Gould Academy in Bethel, said early Tuesday evening.

“We saw all the great weather of New England,” Rearick added with a laugh. “From sunshine to cold to rain to snow to sleet and fog. So we saw it all.”

Rearick spent Saturday through Tuesday critiquing the skiing of the United States, either from his spot on the hill or in meetings with each member of the men’s team’s four tiers.

Rearick was even able to assess the skiers in Tuesday’s foggy conditions.

“You could see them enough to evaluate,” he said. “You see a lot of mixture. You know, some guys having the courage to … ski really hard in bad weather and tougher conditions, so you almost evaluate the courage side more.


“But at the same time, you’re able to tell who’s got fundamentals and who lacks fundamentals.”

In true coach fashion, Rearick places high value on fundamentals. U.S. Nationals offers him the chance to see most of the United States’ top skiers — particularly those not on the World Cup circuit — and size up the overall fundamentals.

“We still have a lot of work to do as a nation,” Rearick said. “We have to get our hips over our feet. We’ve got to be in a better position on our skis.

“On the plus side, the upper-body stability is better. But as a whole, we’ve got to get our hips over our feet so we can be more athletic on our skis.”

One skier whose fundamentals impressed Rearick was 18-year-old Jett Seymour.

“Jett Seymour out of Colorado, young guy, definitely stood out from a fundamental, technical perspective,” Rearick said. “In all events, he stood himself out pretty well.”


Rearick added that it wasn’t just Seymour, many of the young Colorado skiers exhibited a solid grasp of fundamentals.

‘Speed nation’

Rearick said the United States was at its best in the super-G and giant slalom.

“We’re definitely more of a speed nation,” he said. “When you watch the super-G and you watch the GS, you can tell that’s where the focus has been.”

Ryan Cochran-Siegle won the super-G on Sunday, and then had a comfortable half-second lead after the first run of the giant slalom, but it was derailed early in his second run Tuesday.

“In the super-G, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, he’d been on a grind tour all year on the World Cup and stepped up and skied well in the super-G. It was really nice to see him perform that way,” Rearick said.


“Today, he skied a great first run. Unfortunately, he lost a pole right out of the start (of the second run), ended up going out.”

Slalom shortcomings

If Rearick was impressed by the speed, he was less than enthused about the slalom.

“We’ve got to get better at slalom as a nation,” he said. “Especially the kids coming up have to be better at slalom.”

“The overall level is not high enough,” he added.

Rearick did like what he saw out of AJ Ginnis in the slalom. Ginnis won the U.S. championship on Sunday, then drove to Canada and won the national slalom title up there, too, on Monday.


“I was stoked to see AJ Ginnis win his national title,” Rearick said. “A guy that’s been on the World Cup, but had to win to get some points that he needed, and got the job done.

“And then the very next day went up to the Canadian nationals and won up there. That was pretty cool — double national champion in two days and secured his ranks to be able to compete well in the World Cups next year. So that was a standout job by AJ Ginnis.”

Another slalom skier who caught Rearick’s eye was 20-year-old Luke Winters, who placed ninth in Sunday’s event.

Overall, though, the nation fell short in slalom, and it goes back to fundamentals.

“Slalom is where you practice your fundamentals, and you practice with repetition on basic fundamentals of skiing,” Rearick said.

“Slalom’s an easy event to train. You can practice it anywhere, you can practice it a lot. And it’s easy to do because it’s more of an athletic skill, it’s less of a rhythm and timing and feeling event. To me, we’re not doing enough, and we have to do more. Much more.”

U.S. Ski Team men’s head coach and Gould Academy graduate Sasha Rearick, left, talks with another coach at Kangaroo Crossing during the men’s super-G race at Sugarloaf in 2015.

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