After dominating the New Zealand National Junior Championships with two Slalom wins at Coronet Peak on 7 and 8 September, and being confirmed as New Zealand U21 Champion, Sam Hadley travelled to Perisher, Australia to compete in the Australian National Championships.
Sam made the podium in the Australian National Championships Slalom taking the Bronze medal behind Ryoma Katayama from Japan and race winner Hugh McAdam of Australia. McAdam locked down a clean sweep of all the Australian titles with some high level skiing. In the NJC Slalom Sam straddled near the end of what was a blistering run.
In the Australian National Champs GS Sam secured 4th place less than a second off the podium. In the National Junior Champs GS, Sam put down a great run to be in 2nd place after the first run and be close to McAdam as the leader. Perhaps showing some inexperience as a first year FIS athlete he tried to displace McAdam by skiing a straighter line, but this was the wrong decision in a rutted course meaning he got bumped around and he dropped to 4th place overall.
Nigel Brown of New Zealand was the TD for the Australian races. Nigel commented that Sam’s skiing was at an excellent level and to be so close to the top Australian men, remembering that they are 30 point skiers in the old FIS scoring system, was a great effort. “To be that close as a first year FIS athlete to these quality Australian men and to get on the Australian National Championships Podium as a first year FIS athlete is very impressive. It was a great performance over all 4 races by Sam and certainly one to take note of.”
Sam’s Australian podium goes together with his NZ National Champs Slalom Bronze behind Willis Feasey and Colby Derwin, a seasons best 84 points GS starting from dead last in the Cardrona ANC races and wraps up a very impressive first year of FIS races.
7 months ago