Sullivan ends season on high note
Two-time Olympian Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley attacked all the way this past Friday to win his second U.S. gold medal in the downhill by more than a second to open the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Alyeska Resort.
“It’s been a long time since I won a race, and even longer since I won by over a second,” Sullivan, the 2002 U.S. super G champion, said at the finish. “It’s a really good course and I took advantage of every opportunity; I wasn’t taking a lot of risks, but I would build speed, shave my line and power through the turns. I was charging all the way.”
His winning time was 1:43.70 over the 2.8K course, with NorAm downhill champion Erik Fisher silver medalist in 1:44.79. Jeremy Transue, who won the FIS (non-title) DH Thursday, was third with a time of 1:44.85.
“I had a good run,” Sullivan said. “This course is really good. It’s not overly gnarly, but there are some good jumps, some good gliding…and it’s got a lot going for it.
“A lot of guys were going fast, but I don’t think they took the mountain to its potential. They had the speed but it’s not just speed on this course, and if you calculated right, or you just powered it through, you could save some time … and I skied pretty good, definitely a good run.”
He tested different skis in the training runs and in Thursday’s FIS DH before selecting his skis for the title race, Sullivan said. “I’ve got new skis this week from Nordica and they were running fast. It’s nice we had three guys on Nordica in the top six” with T.J. Lanning fifth and Scott Macartney sixth.
Said Men’s Head Coach Phil McNichol: “Marco’s been skiing great. He’s relaxed and it showed in his skiing. He didn’t make any big mistakes … and now he’s the downhill champion. You have to be clean on this course and manage your run. You have to be on your game all the way.”
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