Shiffrin wins slalom and Schleper wins U.S. Combined Alpine Championships

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 3, 2011 5:18 pm

Sixteen-year-old junior racer Mikaela Shiffrin took a first run lead to victory in the women’s slalom to close the 2011 Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships in snowy Winter Park. “I guess anything is possible. I was sure hoping for it and I guess luck came through today.”

“It does feel good. Sarah and Resi have been so supportive of me. Going over to Europe they were so nice. Beating them today was a crazy feeling for me, but the better part of it was that they were still supportive of it. Just props to them – thank you.”

“My goal, when I was five, was to be the youngest to ski in a World Cup and I was somewhat near to that. So that was a really good birthday present. This is the best end of the season ever.”

“To celebrate, I think I am going to do homework – algebra 2 and maybe some history”

On Saturday evening, Shiffrin was awarded the Ski Racing Magazine Junior of the Year award at the annual athlete banquet sharing the honor with Ryan Cochran-Siegle.

Four-time Olympian Sarah Schleper, 32, was second and earned the combined title with the fastest paired super G and slalom times. “It was pretty tough, bumpy, choppy the whole way down. I pole planted between my legs half way down, threw them sideways a couple times. It was a fight. I’m stoked for Mikaela. She has a good solid, head on her shoulders. It’s impressive to see her come down and take the win.”

“I’m stoked we have this uber talent on our team. I think it’s going to be inspiring for all of us. There’s really nothing better that could have happened for our team. I’m pretty stoked. I like it when people are competitive and have that power to push you as well as bring up the level of the team.”

“My goal was to take a title from these championships and I would have liked to do that in slalom or giant slalom, but the combined still feels pretty good.”

Resi Stiegler was third, matching her younger brother Seppi’s result in the men’s slalom. The top scoring region in the four-day championships was the West, earning the Tom Garner Memorial Trophy. “I think I watched too many of the men and I thought it was going to be really gnarly for the women. But the snow on the right side of the course was a lot better. I put down a good run but I was a little slow on the flats. I had a lot of time behind Mikaela, which is kind of bummer for second run because I really charged it. I put it on the line, but didn’t get it.”

“I’m so excited. So far every day this year we raced together, we’ve gotten the exact same place. So when he [Seppi] got third I knew there was no was no way I could get worse than that.”

“We have a pretty small tech team and I think it just comes down to having a positive attitude. Mikaela is there, she wants to be there. She’s charging and she pushes you. It’s good to have another teammate that wants to be in there.”

1. Mikaela Shiffrin, Burke Mountain, VT, 1:42.14
2. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 1:42.14
3. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:43.95
1. Mikaela Shiffrin, Burke Mountain, VT, 1:42.14
2. Devin Delaney, North Conway, NH, 1:48.25
3. Lizzie Kistler, Santa Rosa, CA, 1:48.37

1. Sarah Schelper, Vail, CO
2. Laurenne Ross, Klamath Falls, OR
3. Kiley Staples, Park City, UT
1. Sydney Staples, Park City, UT
2. Emma Naatz, Salt Lake City, UT
3. Lila Lapanja, Incline Village, NV

Tom Garner Memorial Trophy
1. Western Region – 2969
2. Eastern Region – 1674
3. Rocky/Central Region – 1416

For complete results: