Julia Mancuso had a record breaking afternoon as she won her 14th U.S. title at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships today. It was a nail-biter as the athletes raced to the finish, but Mancuso pulled ahead by just 1.2 seconds in the super G to extend her national title record in the spring-like conditions of Winter Park.
This is Mancuso’s fourth super G U.S. Championship gold in her 12 years with the U.S. Ski Team.
“It’s spring conditions and kind of like an obstacle course. It’s always fun to come to nationals to see all the enthusiasm of the clubs from across America. I really like cheering for all the athletes,” Mancuso said. “I remember racing with the veterans on the U.S. Ski Team at U.S. Championships when I was a young racer and I hope all the young racers like coming here to compete against me and the other fast girls.”
Leanne Smith from the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team held onto second, ending slightly ahead of Laurenne Ross of the Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation who came in third.
“It’s fun to be here at Winter Park. The weather has been beautiful and it’s the second to last race of the year. I’m happy and just here to have a good time and hopefully get a couple of podiums,” Smith said.
Anna Marno of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club took seventh overall, earning her top junior honors ahead of both Abby Ghent and Vanessa Berther.
“The year has been a little up and down, but I’ve raced a lot at Winter Park and it’s always good to come back here. I grew up nearby in Steamboat Springs, so Winter Park is like a second home to me and it’s nice to have a good result here,” Marno reminisces.
The competition continues Saturday with giant slalom. The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships will air on NBC at 3:30pm ET on April 7.