Julia Mancuso wins second title at U.S. Alpine Championships | SierraSun.com

Julia Mancuso wins second title at U.S. Alpine Championships

Ski Racing Magazine and Sun Staff report
AP Photo/Nathan BilowFrom left, skiers Leanne Smith, Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook celebrate on the podium after the women's super G race at the U.S. Alpine Championships on Saturday.
AP | FR37383 AP

WINTER PARK, Colo. and#8212; Competing in the super G, Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley and Tommy Ford each secured their second win is as many days Saturday at the U.S. Alpine Championships. Stacey Cook of Truckee finished third for the second straight day.

Mark Engel of the Sugar Bowl Academy was the top junior from the Tahoe area, as he finished 15th overall and third among junior competitors in the men’s super G.

Katie Hitchcock, also from the Sugar Bowl Academy, finished seventh in the women’s race, while juniors Morganne Murphy of Truckee and Lila Lapanja of Incline Village placed 20th and 23rd, respectively.

Mancuso, who also won the giant slalom title the previous day, posted a winning time of 1 minute, 13.34 seconds. Smith trailed closely behind, in 1:13.54., followed by Cook at 1:13.69.

For Mancuso, the win marked her 13th career National title, extending her U.S. record. It was her first super G crown since 2003.

and#8220;It’s really nice to win races. It’s not something that happens very often for me because I’m racing World Cup all the time,and#8221; said Mancuso with a broad smile. and#8220;It’s just fun to come out and race with everyone. Of course today is even better, it’s nice to race in the spring weather. It’s a beautiful day out here so it’s kind of one of those moments where you are really thankful for your job.and#8221;

The women were up first in the Rocky Mountain sunshine on a tricky, turny course that saw 18 racers fail to finish on the 37-gate course.

and#8220;It was technical, definitely more gates and shorter distances than a normal super G, but the snow set up better than the GS (Friday), so it ran pretty smooth and good,and#8221; said Mancuso, the fifth racer down the track.

Aspen’s Kathrine Ryan was the top junior skier with the ninth-fastest time overall, at 1:17.56. Murphy finished in 1:20.97 and Lapanja in 1:21.29.

An hour later the sun was even higher and the temperature had climbed to 50 degrees in time for the men’s start.

A familiar face led the men’s forerunners as World Cup regular Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley clicked back into his race skis following a break brought on by an early-season concussion.

and#8220;That was my first run on super G skis since I crashed in Bormio (on Dec. 28),and#8221; said Sullivan, who passed his doctor’s test to return to snow four weeks ago. and#8220;I was a little bit nervous but it felt good. I was stoked, I made some nice turns. It feels really good to get back on the speed course and just have fun and realize this is still what I want to do.and#8221;

Ford did his work early as the first racer out of the gate with a time of 1:10.10 to claim his fifth national title in 12 months (slalom, combined and GS in 2010).

and#8220;It was another soft day and a little more turny set, which suits me well,and#8221; said Ford, who grew up in often soft conditions at Mount Bachelor, Ore. and#8220;Running first is a huge advantage, so I took advantage of it and skied well and tried to work the skis in the soft snow.and#8221;

Tommy Biesemeyer, who made his World Cup debut this season, earned his first career Nationals medal in second place, two-tenths of a second behind Ford, while junior Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the Mount Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club secured his best National championship result ever in third place, 0.42 seconds behind Ford.

Engel posted a time of 1:11.95. Bryce Bennett of the Squaw Valley Ski Team placed 34th, while Sugar Bowl Academy skiers Dylan Brooks was 41st, Craig Marshall 52nd and Adam Barwood 59th.

For complete results, go to http://www.skiracing.com.

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