At the start of the winter, Ali Nullmeyer ’23 said she wanted to become a consistent competitor against the best skiers in the world. Her recent results have proved that she is.
Nullmeyer had a career-best finish of fifth place in the World Cup slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, on Jan. 4. After finishing the first run of the race in 17th, Ali won the second run, beating favorites like Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vhlova. Her second run catapulted her to fifth overall, just 0.47 seconds off the podium.
In her next race just a few days later at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Ali proved that her recent result was no fluke, finishing sixth overall.
Ali came even closer to the podium on Jan. 11 in Schladming, Austria. She finished the first run in third, just 0.35 seconds off the fastest time. Unfortunately, Ali didn’t finish the second run of the challenging course, but walked away with some added confidence from her first run time.
“I’m really happy with my last few races,” Nullmeyer said. “I feel my skiing is in a really good place and I’m feeling confident moving into the next block of racing.”
Ali has been competing at the World Cup level for the past three seasons, and has steadily made her way up the rankings. With her recent results, Ali’s world ranking has improved to 13th for slalom.
Nullmeyer has balanced both World Cup and NCAA races while also shouldering the duties of a full-time student. Unlike many of her competitors, Nullmeyer isn’t focused solely on the World Cup.
“I think racing the World Cup as a college student is really fulfilling,” Nullmeyer said.
Among the few other women on the World Cup tour that also attend college, Nullmeyer said a sort of camaraderie has developed. “I feel like we kind of help each other get through it,” Nullmeyer said. “It's nice to just have people there who kind of understand what you're trying to do.”
Nullmeyer enrolled at Middlebury in the fall of 2019 after taking three gap years to focus on skiing. When the collegiate season last winter was canceled because of Covid-19 concerns, Nullmeyer took advantage of the option to take classes remotely at Middlebury and spent the majority of the season racing in Europe.
Nullmeyer says she is excited to return to training with the Middlebury team, which she will do in the coming days. Despite missing the first college race of the season at Colby this past weekend due to the World Cup schedule, Nullmeyer returns to Vermont for the next two weeks and is hoping to race in the next Collegiate Carnival race at St. Michael's College.
After that, Nullmeyer has her sights set on the Olympics in February. Her recent results have likely secured her a spot there, with the official roster set to be announced in the coming days.