Julia Mancuso wins U.S. Alpine Championship giant slalom

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 1, 2011 3:22 pm

Olympic champion Julia Mancuso overcame a 1.52 first run deficit to win her 12th U.S. title with giant slalom victory at the 2011 Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships. It was Mancuso’s third consecutive U.S. giant slalom championship and extended the American record for U.S. titles she set last season when she bumped a mark held by Andrea Mead Lawrence for 55 years. “Sarah really laid it down first run, maybe she shouldn’t have gone so fast. Then I wouldn’t have gotten so mad and want to ski fast. The second run was a lot more inconsistent rhythm. I like that kind of course, for me it was easier to try and go fast and take risks. It was a little rugged but psyched with the outcome.” said Mancuso.

“Second run I was a little more ready, it was softer, but it was a fun little wild ride. Free skiing in Squaw earlier this week definitely paid off.”

“I think it’s really important to come out here and set the pace. At least give the regional coaches a chance to see how World Cup skiers ski, because you don’t really get that chance to be able to come out and ski with the younger racers. I remember when I was younger and it was definitely a highlight.”

First run leader Sarah Schleper finished second with Stacey Cook third in sunny Winter Park. Afterwards, Sarah said, “Going into the second run I had a second and half lead, but I knew Julia could beat me by a second and half on a soft straight course. I just didn’t want it bad enough.”

“We have such a competitive team and Julia’s always out to win it. So you have to put on your game face and really go out there with a mission. But I have the slalom and I’m going to race super G tomorrow, the first one since last Nationals. So that will be exciting.”

U.S. Development Team racer Abby Ghent earned top junior honors ahead of Burke Mountain Academy athlete Mikaela Shiffrin. The U.S. championships continue Saturday with men’s and women’s super G.  “It’s nice to be the top junior, but you are always shooting for the real podium.”

“I tried to treat racing against girls like Julia and Sarah like they are any other competitor but it’s hard to – I’m kind of star struck. But it’s good to see them on the same course as me. I was two seconds off of Julia in the second run and she ripped, so that’s good.”

“I try to always keep an eye out for what they are doing, but I try to stay focused on my plan and execute what I have to do.”

1. Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA, 2:21.61
2. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 2:22.22
3. Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 2:23.55
1. Abby Ghent, Edwards, CO, 2:25.42
2. Mikaela Shiffin, Burke Mountain, VT, 2:26.55
3. Devin Delaney, North Conway, NH, 2:27.05
For complete results:

Men’s and Women’s super G
9:30 a.m. MT Men’s start
1:00 p.m. MT Women’s start