Julia Mancuso capitalized on the home snow advantage to take first place at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships giant slalom in Squaw Valley. The victory marks a record 16th U.S. title for the Olympic gold medalist. Mancuso was followed by teammate and Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin, who trailed by .88. Megan McJames, the 2013 NorAm overall champion, finished third to round out the women’s podium.
“It’s very fun to be at my home mountain and, of course, I want to win here,” said Mancuso. I think that’s the cool thing about records even if it’s something like U.S. Championships; when you are kind of pushing for something or extending a record. It makes it that much more fun.
Heavy snowfall on Wednesday led to inconsistent snow conditions on the race course, prompting officials to shorten the planned start. By the time spectators began packing the Squaw Valley venue for the opening race, the mountain was graced with blue bird skies for the event!
Shriffin reflected upon her breakout season, saying, “It’s hard to sum up the year like that. I had a pretty good debut into World Cup. I love to train and I love to improve and I try not to lose sight of the fact that I can’t just become complacent. So I’m just trying to ski my fastest and break barriers every day.
The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships continues on Friday with super G events for both the men and women.