Ford, Staples Win Combined Titles
WINTER PARK, CO (March 30) - Despite narrowly missing the super G win Friday, Tommy Ford (Bend, OR/Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation) collected the eighth national title of his young career with gold in the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships combined, a paper race pairing the fastest time in slalom and super G. Kiley Staples (Park City, UT/Holderness Academy), the 2011 NorAm overall champion, snagged the women's combined title for the first U.S. Championship of her career. Top juniors were n Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT/Cochran's/Mt. Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club) and Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV/Sugar Bowl Academy/Diamond Peak).
- Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) captured the men's Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships combined title, paring the fastest times in both slalom and super G.
- It was the eighth national title of Ford's career, combining his victory in the men's slalom on Thursday and a second place finish in Friday's super G.
- Kiley Staples (Park City, UT) was third in slalom and 11th in super G to take the women's combined gold medal for the first national title of her career.
- Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN/Buck Hill Ski Team) won men's silver with Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA/Schweitzer Alpine Racing) bronze.
- Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) was the top women's junior with second overall after finshing fourth in slalom.
- Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA/Squaw Valley Ski Team) was third in senior podium and second for juniors with Anna Marno (Steamboat Springs, CO/Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) finishing third in the combined juinors.
- Men's juniors silver went to Bryce Bennett (Olympic Valley, CA/Squaw Valley Ski Team) with Kieffer Christianson (Anchorage/Burke Mountain Academy) in bronze.
- The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships close Saturday with women's giant slalom followed by men's giant slalom on Sunday in Winter Park.
Soft snow has always been good to me and I'm just willing to let it go at this time of year.
It hasn't been the best season for me, but it's been a good one. I'd like to have these kind of resutls throughout the entire season, but it's something I'm building toward. The goal is to build strength through the summer and be ready to go when we start racing again in October.
Before that, I'm ready to go for the giant slalom on Sunday and maybe get another title, but we'll see. Then it's time to take a break.
I've always been kind of in there in the combined, but I've never won it. This is a big step for me.
I've had a tough year, especially in super G, so I didnt' really know what was going to happen going into this. I was really excited how I did in the slalom and would have liked to have skied better in the super G, but it looks like it was enough.
There's still a lot more I want to accomplish here, so I'll be going full guns in the giant slalom tomorrow - I have nothing to lose.
NBC will air the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships on April 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET.