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Fuller captures first FIS podium, named to US ski team's national development system

By: Staff Report
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Jordan Fuller captured his first FIS podium with a third-place finish among J2's and seventh overall in Sunday’s slalom race at his home hill, Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley. Fuller also had a fifth among J2s in day one of the giant slalom and was 19th overall amongst the stiff competition from Sierra Nevada College and University of Nevada Reno ski teams, a dozen Europeans from France, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden, Italy and a dozen racers from Canada and New Zealand. During the week, Fuller learned he was re-named to the US ski team's 2012-2013 National Development System teams, which identifies up-and-coming talent and provides a clear path progression including special camps, instruction, coaches, sponsor introduction and educational materials to augment what they are getting at the home club and to further their ski racing development. On Squaw Valley's 1960s Olympic giant slalom and slalom courses on the infamous Red Dog run known as "The Dog Leg" with the races streaming live video and timing on the internet, this was going to be an event. This was a true test of skill, strength and stamina. The courses were about the usual 45-55 seconds long, but very steep and very fast with absolutely no flats -- true World Cup terrain and conditions. Many of the J2s had never raced on anything like this before, and to top it off, it was solid ice, like a hockey rink tilted at a 35-degree angle, then sprinkle in gates about every second or so. Day one was a giant slalom and with sunny skies and cold morning temperatures, it was going to be all about your edges. They had to be razor sharp to handle the steep icy terrain on the Dog Leg. On a hill he had trained on a thousand times, Fuller and the Squaw Valley team felt like they had a huge advantage and planned to take full advantage by being aggressive and taking chances to shave time from each run. Fuller started in the middle of the pack but worked his way up to 21st after the first run and was excited about the opportunity to move up even further in run two. Fuller rocked the first pitch and hammered the middle section and looked home free, but got late on the delay three quarters of the way through and went down, but in what's becoming a normal thing, Fuller was able to jam his ski into the ice, pop back up without missing a beat and even made the next gate without too much time lost. Amazingly, he moved up to 19th overall even with the fall and fifth among J2s. Day two of the giant slalom was a carbon copy of day one, sunny, clear and cold. Fuller had his usual start in the middle and had another very solid run to move up to 24th overall after one run and striking distance to a top-15 finish. Fuller started the second run very aggressively and wound his way quickly down the course looking very fast and finished very strong but was disqualified because he was charged with missing a gate that had been ripped out of the snow by the previous racer. Days three and four were slalom and conditions remained ideal, clear and cold. Fuller, with slightly better slalom points, started a little earlier and it paid off with a ripping run, near flawless, and wound up 14th overall after run one. On his second run, Fuller had a chance to be in first place and took advantage with another smoking run, possibly better even than the morning run, easily handling the treacherous fall-away turns halfway down the course and he was then in first place for awhile. With the flip, the remaining 13 fastest racers followed Fuller down the slope and when the day was done, he had nailed down his first podium in a FIS race with a seventh-place overall finish and third among J2's, losing only to the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked J2's in the country.