Christianson named to world junior ski team

Girdwood's Kieffer Christianson earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the World Junior alpine championships next month in Italy, marking the third straight year he has been named to the team.

Christianson, 19, is one of 14 skiers on the team, announced Thursday by the U.S. Ski Team.

The announcement came on the same day Christianson skied to 26th place in the U.S. downhill championship race in Aspen, Colo. He was the 13th American finisher in the race, which attracted a number of skiers from Canada as well as a few from Europe.

Christianson is a two-year member of the U.S. Ski Team's development squad. He didn't post any finishes in his first World Junior appearance, in 2010 in France, but he finished every event but the super-G at last year's event in Switzerland. At those championships, Christianson placed 19th in the combined, 25th in giant slalom, 36th in downhill and 63rd in slalom.

Christianson, a sophomore at Dartmouth, began making a name for himself in 2007 when he won gold in slalom and silver in giant slalom at the Trofeo Topolino Children's Games in Italy.

The World Juniors run March 1-9 in Roccaraso, Italy. Headlining the U.S. men's team will be Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Starksboro, Vt., who earned a share of the national downhill title Thursday in Aspen.

Cochran-Siegle, 19, tied for fourth place with Thomas Biesemeyer of Keene, N.H., but the two will share the national title because the top three spots in the race went to Canadians. Louis-Pierre Helie won in 1 minute, 48.19; Cochran-Siegle and Biesemeyer clocked 1:43.89 and Christianson finished in 1:47.29.

Julia Ford of Plymouth, N.H., claimed her second straight women's downhill title in 1:48.19.

National championships in super-G, giant slalom and slalom won't be decided until late March in Winter Park, Colo.

Anchorage Daily News