Ted Ligety is writing himself into World Cup skiing history in what is fast becoming his career-best season.
Victory Saturday at the Adelboden giant slalom in Switzerland — one of the oldest and most traditional venues on tour — had the 28-year-old American reflecting on his career achievements and the company he is keeping in the record books.
First, there was satisfaction in taming the Swiss cow pastures where the winner’s list since the inaugural week of World Cup racing in 1967 reads like an Alpine Who’s Who.
‘‘It’s the only classic GS I haven’t won, so it’s nice to get it,’’ said Ligety, whose name is now inscribed along with Jean-Claude Killy, Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba, and Hermann Maier.
His 15th career World Cup win, all in his best discipline, also tied him with Tomba for career wins in World Cup giant slaloms.
Ligety notched a fourth World Cup win in a season for the first time. He has posted four wins before, when he followed his 3-for-3 start to the 2010-11 GS campaign with a gold medal at the last world championships in Garmisch, Germany. Still, Ligety insisted, ‘‘It would be hard to argue this isn’t my best season in GS.’’
Ligety’s winning margin of 1.15 seconds over German runner-up Fritz Dopfer was actually small by his standards this season — and owed plenty to a big mistake by first-run leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria, the overall World Cup standings leader and the only other winner of a GS this season.
Hirscher continues to lead the overall by 26 points, ahead of Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who was sixth Saturday. Ligety is third overall, 103 behind Hirscher, although the Austrian will be favored to regain ground in the slalom Sunday.
In the women’s event in St. Anton, Austria, Alice McKennis of the US earned her first World Cup victory by winning the downhill. Lindsey Vonn was sixth after returning from a nearly monthlong break.
McKennis had never finished in the top three before finishing in 1:14.62 to beat Daniela Merighetti of Italy by 0.07. Anna Fenninger of Austria was third, and overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia finished fourth.
Vonn, the defending overall champion who returned to the circuit after recovering from an intestinal illness, was 0.34 behind, while her American teammate Laurenne Ross was fifth, 0.32 off the lead.
Ski jumping — Defending overall World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson of the US edged Sawra Takanashi of Japan in Hinterzarten, Germany.
Hendrickson rallied for her second victory of the season. She was 0.2 points behind Coline Mattel of France in the first heat, then produced the longest jump of the second series by soaring 98.5 meters to win with 243.6 points. Takanashi remains in the lead overall, 139 points ahead of Hendrickson.
In the men’s competition in Zakopane, Poland, Anders Jacobsen of Norway won and overall leader Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria was eighth on his return from an illness.
Nordic combined — Tino Edelmann of Germany won his first event of the season in Chaux-Neuve, France, while Frenchmen Jason Lamy Chappuis extended his overall lead despite finishing sixth. The 27-year-old Edelmann, whose previous best individual result of the season was 13th, finished just ahead of Austria’s Bernhard Gruber. Japan’s Akito Watabe was third.
Freestyle — Alex Fiva of Switzerland won his second straight ski cross event to move ahead of countryman Armin Niederer in the overall World Cup standings, while Andrea Limbacher of Austria secured her first victory of the season in the women’s event in Les Contmaines, France.