CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Four members of the United States’ 2022 Olympic team competed in the downhill at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf on Wednesday: Keely Cashman, Tricia Mangan, Jacqueline Wiles and Isabella Wright.

February’s Winter Olympics were the first for Wright, who won the downhill national championship, and Cashman.

“It was great,” Wright, 25, said. “I think, honestly, opening ceremonies is where everyone felt so much joy, and it just felt so surreal that we finally made our childhood dream come true.”

Wright placed 21st in the super-G in Beijing and also participated in the Alpine combined but did not finish.

Isabella Wright speeds down the Narrow Gauge trail at Sugarloaf during the downhill competition of the U.S. Alpine Championships in Carrabassett Valley on Wednesday. Wright was the women’s champion. Jamie Walter/Sugarloaf

The 22-year-old Cashman competed in three events, placing 17th in downhill, 27th in super-G and DNF in the combined.

“That was an experience, for sure,” Cashman said of her first Olympics. “I think everyone thought it was going to be a little different, a little crazy, but I’d never been to an Olympics before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it was really, really fun.


“I want to go back, for sure. Four years seems so far away, but I’m sure it will be here before I know it.”

Mangan, 25, and Wiles, 29, both competed in their second Olympics.

Mangan, who placed 11th in the combined in Beijing, also participated in the giant slalom at the 2018 Games. Wiles took 21st in this year’s downhill and 26th in the 2014 Olympics.


Five Carrabassett Valley Academy students served as frontrunners before Wednesday’s races: Adam Hamblet, Kaden Theriault, Caleb Stefanakos, Will Roy and Charlie Koenig. That opportunity allowed them to spend time with some of the United States’ top skiers at the top of the hill.

“It’ so amazing to be able to forerun such an awesome event (that is) so prestigious,” Stefanakos, 16, said. “It’s an honor, really, to be able to be with all these World Cuppers that are showing you up by so much but there’s so much to be able to learn from them. And to be able to run their track is, it’s an honor.”

Isaiah Nelson, a 20-year-old U.S. Alpine C Team member who won the super-G at the World Junior Championships earlier this month, said he remembers what it was like to see how he stacked up to older skiers, and now that he is getting older it is important that he gives young skiers the same opportunity.

“When I was younger, I was one the one who was privileged to get to go to nationals and race against the big dogs. And I would not consider myself one of a big dog, but there’s kids who are psyched to be able to see if they can hold up against me,” Nelson said. “It’s what I was able to do four years ago against, like, River Radamus and Luke Winters. And it is special. I’m happy to do it, but it’s kind of like a duty to come back to U.S. nationals each year.”

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