STRATTON -— Stratton Mountain School Alpine student-athlete Harrison DiGangi ’21 has been invited to compete in the 2021 U.S. Alpine Championships from April 5-16 at Aspen Highlands in Aspen, Colo. The event will include men’s and women’s downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and alpine combined.
“We are incredibly proud of Harrison,” said SMS men’s head FIS Alpine Coach Matt Prendergast. “He has been so focused on training this year, following up on training blocks ahead of racing, and you can see that dedication in his results.”
The U.S. Alpine Championships is open selection, meaning young racers like Harrison have the opportunity to compete side-by-side with the best American ski racing athletes as well as U.S Ski Team members. Athletes are typically selected based on their number of FIS points and a quota for their region, creating a wide field of competitors. However, due to current COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the field has been cut in half, making DiGangi’s invitation that much more impressive.
“Harrison has always been skilled, but he didn’t have the physical strength to make the results that matched his skill set,” Prendergast said. “Over the summer and he got a lot bigger, a lot stronger. And in the last two months, Harrison has consistently been bringing in top results- he is winning runs. U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognized that and extended him a development spot in return.”
The 2020-2021 season marks DiGangi’s third year competing on the FIS circuit, which is unusual for a senior in high school as the majority of third-year FIS athletes are at the post-graduate level. He is also the only athlete from his year of birth on the East Coast to be invited to Nationals. DiGangi is no stranger to success. He was the 2019 recipient of the George Tormey Award by the Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA) Scholarship Committee and took home his third individual golfing title last fall at the Vermont Boy’s State Championships in Barre, VT.
According to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, “The U.S. Alpine Championships will take place after Highlands has closed for public skiing this season and restrictions will be in place to ensure compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.”