2017 National Downhill Champion and 2015 super G National Champion Alice McKennis knifes a turn in the downhill at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. (Getty Images-Christophe Pallot)
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, ME (March 24, 2017) – For the sixth time in the resort’s history, Sugarloaf will host the nation’s top men and women skiers as they tackle the legendary Narrow Gauge track in super G, giant slalom and slalom events as the U.S. Alpine Championships kick off on Saturday, and run through Tuesday.
The U.S. Alpine Championships are an integral part of the USSA’s national development program, where athletes from clubs and regional teams across the nation can see how they stack up against U.S. Ski Team mainstays.
Prior to the kickoff of the U.S. Alpine Championships Saturday, Sugarloaf hosted super G and alpine combined NorAm Cup races for the men and women. Canadians Mikaela Tommy and Sam Mulligan were victorious in the alpine combined, while Stacey Cook (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and Erik Arvidsson (Woodside, CA) won the first super G in the two race speed series and Megan McJames (Park City, UT) and Kipling Weisel (San Francisco, CA) won the second.
Sugarloaf hometown hero Sam Morse flies through the air in his Audi FIS Ski World Cup debut at the recent World Cup Finals downhill in Aspen, Colorado. (U.S. Ski Team-Cody Downard)
Here’s a little sneak-peek on who to watch this weekend: 35 U.S. Ski Team members will be competing, highlighted by World Cup athletes Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA), who recently won his second career downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO); Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV); and recent World Junior Downhill Champion and Sugarloaf local Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, ME).
On the women’s side, keep an eye on 2015 super G U.S. National Champion Alice McKennis (New Castle, CO) – also recently crowned 2017 U.S. National Downhill Champ from the NorAm in Copper Mountain, Colorado – along with Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR); Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) – who scored her first World Cup podium this season in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria; Stacey Cook; New England native Leanne Smith (North Conway, NH), the fiery tech specialist Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY), and recent World Junior Downhill Champion Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA).
The U.S. Ski Team is coming off another successful season including two titles for Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) – snagging both the overall and slalom crystal globes – three medals at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland; 21 World Cup podiums by five different athletes and three Junior World Ski Championships medals.
Sugarloaf’s legendary Narrow Gauge track will host super G, giant slalom and slalom events for the 2017 U.S. Alpine Championships (U.S. Ski Team-Dave Kynor)
Sugarloaf will not only play host to elite-level alpine ski racing, but also numerous off-hill events including opening ceremonies on Saturday, which will feature a parade of athletes, remarks by notable members of the Sugarloaf and U.S. Ski Team communities, including U.S. Senator Angus King, and will conclude with a fireworks display and live music in the Widowmaker Lounge with Harsh Armadillo. On Sunday, join local hero Sam Morse for an autograph session post-awards ceremony.
U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday, March 25 Men’s and women’s super G
Sunday, March 26 Men’s and women’s slalom
Monday, March 27 Women’s giant slalom
Tuesday, March 28 Men’s giant slalom
DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS Super G Tim Jitloff Anna Marno