Oregon’s Tommy Ford claimed slalom gold on Thursday at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships. The skier cleared victory with a .01 second margin to earn the seventh national title of his career. Norway’s Leif Kristian Haugen followed in silver and Michael Ankeny rounded out the podium with a bronze finish.
After the race, Ford spoke to his slalom performance, saying, “I’ve been training some slalom up in Quebec when we had some spring break time before coming here and it’s been getting better and better. I added some old-school turns the second run but skied well on the bottom. It’s always fun to win, I skied well and it was fun to ski some good slalom.”
Ford will now add this year’s slalom title to an already impressive lineup of accolades. Last year he took second in the slalom, he has a super G title, two combined titles and two giant slalom crowns.
“U.S. Championships have always been good to me. I ski well in these types of conditions. The weather is great; it’s like spring break. I’m looking forward to skiing super G tomorrow and then some giant slalom, but I’m also looking forward to being done for the season”, said Ford.
Ankeny owed his third place podium to Jimmy Cohran, who after taking the lead in the first run hooked one of his ski tips in the final heat. This was the final run of Cohran’s nine-year career, and while he didn’t finish the season with a title — he went out skiing like a champion!
“It was too bad that Jimmy didn’t finish. It would have been fun to have him come down competing”, said Ford.
Top junior honors went to Robert Cone of the Middlebury College Ski Team. He was followed by Ryan Cochran-Siegle from the Mt. Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club and Bryce Bennett who hails from the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
Cone, who is fresh from the Junior World Championships spoke after his race saying, “It’s been a long season, but a pretty good one. It was cool to go to the Junior World Championships and then come here and know that I can compete with some of the fastest guys out there.”
The Nature Valley U.S.Alpine Championships continues Friday with men’s and women’s super G at Winter Park.
NBC will air the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships on April 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET