SUGARLOAF, Maine — With a come-from-behind second run, David Chodounsky confirmed his status as a skiing star by winning the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships slalom for the second year in a row. The win also gave him the combined victory, on paper — adding up both the slalom and the super G races. AJ Ginnis finished second and Redneck Racing’s Tim Kelley was third in the slalom. In the alpine combined, Tim Jitloff was second and Drew Duffy took third.
After a great start to the season — teetering on the edge of top-10 World Cup finishes — Chodounsky had a rough go at the end of the year. And it looked like nationals were going to go the same way for him, as he broke his pole during the first run and finished third. But he was determined to see it through in the second run, and his persistence gave him the slalom win.
“It feels great. I’m really happy. This year hasn’t been the best year for me. It has kind of been a struggle at the end especially, so I really wanted to come back home and make a strong showing at U.S. nationals,” said Chodounsky, who has now won three national slalom titles in total. “It really does mean a lot to me to win here and end the season on a good note.”
Kelley, who was first after first run, had a big mistake second run, which dropped back to third. Up-and-comer Ginnis slid into second place for another trophy to add to his case after taking third at the World Junior Championships this season.
Both Kelley and Chodounsky, World Cup veterans, were ecstatic for the young gun.
“He’s such a talented skier. Everyone has known it all season. He’s been really pushing strong this year and has really broken out,” said Chodounsky. “He’s going to be a great skier. We’re just helping him along and I have no doubt he’s going to start winning these races soon.”
Ginnis was equally as thankful for the help Kelley and Chodounsky gave him this season.
“Timmy and David, we spend the entire season in Europe, just grinding it out together. It’s fun to be here at home and race against each other under blue skies, at a great resort — it’s awesome,” said Ginnis. “Tim was actually the guy when I was up-and-coming that guided me. This year on the World Cup, David really showed me how everything works. To be with those guys on the podium was awesome.”
Rounding out the top five was the University of Denver’s Alex Leever in fourth, as the second-place junior, and Team America’s Seppi Stiegler fifth.
In the alpine combined, Sugarloaf-native Sam Morse finished fourth and Green Mountain Valley School’s Ryan Mooney was fifth.
The slalom wrapped up a fun week at Sugarloaf with racers having nothing but good things to say about the East Coast venue. It was a close fight between East and West rivals, with the western skiers sneaking out the win with 2220 total points from the week and the easterners with 2026 points. Rocky/Central skiers took third with 1509 points.
Release courtesy of USSA, photo courtesy of Cory Ransom
|17||35||6531523||O BRIEN Keilan||1996||USA||54.28||58.59||1:52.87||+8.99||70.31|
|23||56||6530913||MACKIE Logan Rip||1994||USA||54.93||1:00.80||1:55.73||+11.85||90.13|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 2nd run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|60||6530925||VAN DEURSEN Jake||1994||USA|