Anchorage alpine skier Finnigan Donley turned in a sensational performance at the U18 Junior National Championships March 11-14 at Mittersill Cannon Mountain in Franconia, N.H.
Donley, who joined the Sun Valley Ski Academy in Idaho last year, earned two gold medals, a bronze medal, and a sixth place finish over the four racing disciplines – a dominating performance that made him the runaway Under 18 Junior National Champion among a field of 75 competitors.
Donley’s four-day performance went like this: gold medal on Saturday in the downhill, gold medal on Sunday in the Super-G, sixth place on Monday in giant slalom, and bronze medal on Tuesday in the slalom.
“One of my goals this season was to win a race at U18 Nationals,” Donley said via text. “So to be able to ski at my best when I needed to felt great!”
Four races in four days is no joke, with competitors skiing two runs for each event.
“National championship races are very mentally and physically challenging because it is four races in the span of four days,” Donley said. ” I am proud I was able to maintain a high performance level through the entire week and produce good results every day.”
Donley, who finished second overall at the last year’s U18 Junior Nationals, has been producing plenty of good results lately.
He turned heads internationally at the World Juniors Alpine Championships in Austria in January, where he finished as the top American and 13th overall in the Super-G, racing against guys a year or two his senior.
The former West Anchorage High School student, who was a stalwart racer for the Alyeska Ski Club throughout his boyhood years, will next turn his attention to U.S. Senior Nationals in Sun Valley, where he’ll test himself against the best skiers in the country of any age April 2-5.
“Sun Valley has been my home during the winter for the past few years so I am excited to compete on a race hill that I know well!” Donley said.