SUGARLOAF, Maine —Mikaela Shiffrin certainly cleaned up on Saturday, winning the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Champs slalom by more than four seconds over her USST teammate Paula Moltzan. Independent skier Megan McJames was third.

In front of a huge crowd cheering Shiffrin’s name, she threw down her first run with a time no one could beat. Second run, she did the same; but Moltzan was on her tail.

“Last year I was four seconds behind (Shiffrin) every run and now I’m two, so it’s going down!” Moltzan joked after her second-place finish. “It’s nice to have a benchmark to see how you’re progressing in your skiing.”

Moltzan, a slalom specialist who is often compared to Shiffrin, won this year’s World Junior Championships in Norway. Although more than four seconds off of Shiffrin’s pace, Moltzan did hold a hefty 2.5-second lead over the rest of the field, as well — showcasing the dominance of both of these young women.

Even after winning the World Cup slalom title and World Championships slalom gold this year, Shiffrin was thrilled to be in Sugarloaf, competing at the U.S. Alpine Championships. Many of the audience members came over from Burke Mountain Academy, where Shiffrin attended high school.

“These kinds of races mean a lot because of who comes. It’s the next generation of skiers who shows up and watches and hopefully gets inspired by all of the racers — and not just by me or just the U.S. Ski Team athletes,” said Shiffrin, who has now won four national titles. “It’s cool for me to see the excitement. It makes me excited too. It’s the perfect way to end the season and get ready for the new season.”

Shiffrin remembered her first time competing at the national championships, citing it as a turning point in her ski racing career.

“I see a bit of myself in all of these kids because it was not so long ago that I showed up for U.S. nationals for the first time and was thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do well here. I don’t know if I’m that good of a skier,’” she said. “So it’s been since then — that first U.S. nationals. It’s been going quite quickly.” Shiffrin won that first U.S. Alpine Championships slalom race in 2011 and again in 2012, but the title eluded her in the last two seasons before she was able to reclaim it at Sugarloaf.

Leading the U18 charge in the race was Burke Mountain Academy’s Madison Lord in eighth.

Shiffrin plans to stick around on Sunday to watch her brother race in the men’s slalom — the final event in the series.

Release courtesy of USSA, photo courtesy of Cory Ransom.

 

Results

 1  2  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  45.38  47.64  1:33.02
 2  6  539909 MOLTZAN Paula 1994 USA  48.00  49.33  1:37.33  +4.31
 3  1  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA  49.05  50.86  1:39.91  +6.89
 4  3  537792 DUKE Hailey 1985 USA  48.64  51.43  1:40.07  +7.05
 5  7  539678 PETERSON Foreste 1993 USA  49.51  52.08  1:41.59  +8.57
 6  5  539656 IDE Maisie 1993 USA  50.56  51.07  1:41.63  +8.61
 7  18  6535193 HUNSAKER Hannah 1995 USA  51.79  52.40  1:44.19  +11.17
 8  16  6535762 LORD Madison 1997 USA  51.28  53.09  1:44.37  +11.35
 9  34  6535907 ENGLISH Francesca 1997 USA  51.76  53.90  1:45.66  +12.64
 10  35  6535497 SKOVRAN Alexandra 1996 USA  52.23  53.86  1:46.09  +13.07
 11  13  6535478 O BRIEN Audrey 1996 USA  52.30  53.82  1:46.12  +13.10
 12  23  6535791 WRIGHT Isabella 1997 USA  51.52  55.13  1:46.65  +13.63
 13  29  6535882 DESROCHERS Rachael 1997 USA  52.94  54.02  1:46.96  +13.94
 14  27  45333 WOOD Sophie 1995 AUS  53.48  54.88  1:48.36  +15.34
 15  36  6535747 HARRIS Katy 1997 USA  53.95  55.01  1:48.96  +15.94
 16  40  6535807 CUTLER Haley 1997 USA  54.43  54.80  1:49.23  +16.21
 17  21  6535999 DEKKO Madeleine 1998 USA  54.80  55.30  1:50.10  +17.08
 18  42  6535538 SPENCE Erin 1996 USA  56.34  56.84  1:53.18  +20.16
 19  43  6535163 CALCAGNI Lexi 1995 USA  56.40  58.66  1:55.06  +22.04
 20  39  6535868 MURER Abigail 1997 USA  58.48  1:00.22  1:58.70  +25.68
 21  31  539344 BARTHOLD Jeanne 1992 USA  1:02.16  57.47  1:59.63  +26.61
 22  9  6535806 MCGREW Megan 1997 USA  52.73  1:07.17  1:59.90  +26.88
 23  4  539944 HASKELL Mardene 1994 USA  1:15.45  52.12  2:07.57  +34.55
Disqualified 1st run
 37  6535817 MUELLER Griffin 1997 USA
Did not start 1st run
 8  6535773 O BRIEN Nina 1997 USA
Did not finish 2nd run
 45  6535981 GERRARD Olivia 1998 USA
 32  6535488 ROHLOFF Hava 1996 USA
 26  6535661 STANDTEINER Tenaya 1996 USA
 25  6535469 MCCORMICK Erika 1996 USA
 11  539665 LEAVITT Sierra 1993 USA
Did not finish 1st run
 44  6535761 LIVRAN Heidi 1997 USA
 41  6535531 MILLER Kyla 1996 USA
 38  6535941 PARKE Juliette 1998 USA
 33  6535494 SEDBERRY Chandler 1996 USA
 30  6535256 MUELLER-RISTINE Julia 1995 USA
 28  6535808 SCHOEPKE Sandra 1997 USA
 24  6535590 HENEGAN Sydney 1996 USA
 22  6535759 LEBBY Stephanie 1997 USA
 20  6535765 MANGAN Patricia 1997 USA
 19  6535803 HANSON Kate 1997 USA
 17  6535461 KIDD Serina 1996 USA
 15  6535485 REINHART Jessica 1996 USA
 14  6535086 GIBSON Libby 1994 USA
 12  6535600 MERRYWEATHER Alice 1996 USA
 10  539893 ANDERSON Nicole 1994 USA
Article Tags: Alpine, Top Rotator, Top Story

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