Tahoe’s Lila Lapanja 2nd in U.S. Alpine Championships slalom | SierraSun.com

Tahoe’s Lila Lapanja 2nd in U.S. Alpine Championships slalom

Lila Lapanja of Incline Village races to a second-place finish in the slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships.
Courtesy U.S. Ski Team |

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Mikaela Shiffrin and David Chodounsky brought their “A” game to the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships slalom Friday, proving to the rest of the field that it’s hard to beat two of the best slalom skiers in the world.

“I need to congratulate Mikaela for showing the world where she stands,” said Lila Lapanja of Incline Village, who finished second to Shiffrin. “It really fires me up because I have something to chase and I have some work to do, but I’m excited about it.”

Shiffrin impressed in her final slalom of the season, as she raced to her fourth U.S. national slalom title by almost seven seconds. Canada’s Roni Remme finished third behind Shiffrin and Lapanja.  

“I was going for it today,” Shiffrin said. “I feel like if you’re going to race, you need to go as fast as you can. It’s a nice springtime environment. I love the sun. I love this kind of snow, so it’s more relaxing in a sense, but when I got in the starting gate, my heart was beating in my chest.”

Lapanja, who came up through the Diamond Peak and Sugar Bowl ski teams, said she was disappointed with her first run. She made up for it by shaving nearly eight seconds off her second run.

“I’ve been kind of tight the past couple weeks and I just wanted to let go second run a little bit — ski freely and remember why I love skiing slalom,” she said. “So I just brought an attacking mentality to the second run and that tapped me into my best skiing.”

Chodounsky, meanwhile, won his fourth U.S. national slalom title by 2.36 seconds. Robby Kelley finished second and Michael Ankeny was third. 

“I think Dave is skiing as fast as anybody in the world right now,” Kelley said. “It’s awesome just to watch that.”

Sugar Bowl skier Mark Engel of Truckee placed just off the podium in fourth, and Max Hall of Squaw Valley was 16th.

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