River Radamus of the U.S. Ski Team.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Sam Morse felt the need to be a bit more aggressive during Tuesday’s men’s downhill at the U.S. Alpine ski championships.

The Carrabassett Valley native needed a little extra because he was chasing some of the nation’s best and most established skiers.

“This run I did have a little mistake before headwall, I was just risking it, trying to push the line, and it kind of bit me a little bit,” Morse said. “But I still managed to salvage a really solid run, among a super-stacked field. All those podium guys have been to the Olympics and stuff, so to be racing and trying to compete with those guys is sweet.”

Ryan Cochran-Siegle won the downhill national championship, followed by Thomas Biesemeyer and then Jared Goldberg. Those three are 26, 30 and 27 years old, respectively. (Cochran-Siegle turns 27 next week.)

One of the more interesting parts of the U.S. Alpine championships is looking beyond the podium to see who might be the United States’ next great skiers. Behind this year’s top three men’s downhill finishers is a pack of young racers trying to catch up with the veterans.

Kyle Negomir (21 years old) was fourth Tuesday and Morse (22) was fifth. Another young American, 20-year-old River Radamus, came in 12th and said he put a little extra into his run in an attempt to reach the podium.

“I made too many mistakes today, I think,” Radamus said. “But I really wanted to charge it. I felt like I attacked it this run and can live with the mistakes. There’s a lot of fast boys out here today and knew I had to put it on the line if I wanted to compete with them.”

Morse, Negomir and Radamus are part of an up-and-coming group of skiers that are hoping to match the success of veterans such as Cochran-Siegle, Goldberg, Biesemeyer, Ted Ligety and Steven Nyman.

“They’ve been unbelievable international athletes for the U.S., so we absolutely want to carry on the baton,” Radamus said. “We’ve got a lot of really good, young guys who are duking it out trying to fit in there and fill those shoes. We know we can’t earn that without putting in the work.”

Radamus achieved on top-30 finish in his first full year on the World Cup tour. He also won two golds at the world junior championships, in the super-G and giant slalom.

Morse spent most of the year competing in the Europa Cup, but also made some World Cup starts and achieved some top-40 finishes in speed events.

Negomir made his first World Cup start, in the giant slalom, last month at Beaver Creek in his home state of Colorado.

“I definitely think both the U.S. and Canada right now, they have a really strong group coming up through the ranks … where it’s all, everyone’s 18 to 22-ish,” Negomir said.

Other young standouts have been Luke Winters and Ben Ritchie. Neither competed in Tuesday’s downhill. Winters, 22, placed second in the Alpine combined at last year’s U.S. championships. Ritchie, 18-year-old slalom expert, earned silver at the world junior championships.

“Ideally that’s how it happens,” Negomir said, “is you have young groups and a lot of times, like it is right now, you get strong groups that are all together and kind of move up as a group together, (try to be) the next American downhill movement, or whatever it might be.”

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