Shiffrin Continues Storybook Season
SQUAW VALLEY, CA (March 20) - Olympic slalom gold medalist and World Cup slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) continued her storybook season Thursday with victory in the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships giant slalom. To kick off the first day of spring, the 19-year-old technical phenom posted a 1.5-second first run lead before expanding it to a massive 1.88-second margin of victory under bluebird Squaw Valley skies. NBC will broadcast a Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships special at noon ET on Sunday, March 23.
- Olympic gold medalist and back-to-back Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) continued her storybook season with giant slalom victory at the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships.
- It was the third U.S. title of her young career, adding to the slalom titles she locked in 2011 and 2012.
- Shiffrin posted a 1.5-second first run lead and then expanded it to a massive 1.88-second margin of victory over Canadian Marie-Michelle Gagnon.
- Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), who has won the giant slalom title for five straight seasons dating back to 2009, posted a blistering second run to jump from ninth after the first run to third.
- Top junior honors also went to Shiffrin, followed by U.S. Development Team athletes Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA) and Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
- Race conditions again proved to be perfect on the challenging Red Dog slope with consistent snow and perfect Squaw Valley skies for the second straight day of racing.
- Action continues Friday with the men's Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships giant slalom featuring Olympic gold medalist and five-time World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT).
- NBC will broadcast a one-hour Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships special on Sunday, March 23 at noon ET.
It was probably the toughest hill we’ve skied all year. It has a lot of terrain and the whole thing is pretty steep. So it was really cool to end on this hill. I made some good turns, but I also felt the turns where I could have improved, so I know what I want to do with my next training session.
Second run I felt like I attacked a little bit more at the top. I let it go a little bit more. I’m just trying to figure out how to look for speed in GS like I do for slalom. So I’m getting closer.
This event was definitely a confidence booster, but it was my first GS win in a while so that’s always nice. Even before coming here I knew what I had to do with my GS and what to improve on, and I wanted to use this as a tester to really see if it works.
The snow was pretty tough the first run, so I wanted to just have a good run. I've been having little problems with my hips, so at the end of the season I was definitely tired. I just found a little bit of energy for second run, so for sure it was better.
It was a lot of fun to be here and see all the girls racing and having fun. I think that's the most important thing. Nationals are about skiing with the legends but also having fun. It's pretty cool that we can race nationals on Red Dog. This is a really challenging hill.