Truckee’s Jitloff wins national super G title; Marco Sullivan goes out in style
SUN VALLEY, Idaho — U.S. Ski Team veteran Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley capped his career in style — racing in a Lederhosen and a flannel shirt — while Truckee native Tim Jitloff scored his first career super G title at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships on Thursday.
Jitloff raced to victory on a tight, twisty and technical track that kept the racers on their toes. Ryan Cochran-Siegle finished runner-up and was followed by Squaw Valley’s Erik Arvidsson, who was the top-placing junior, in third.
“The course is very challenging,” Jitloff said. “I think when people come to nationals they think that maybe it’s going to be a little bit easier, but they definitely didn’t give us an easy track here. A lot of guys were close to going out, or (did) go out. I certainly was on the limit. But the track is excellent. They did a heck of a job with the new (trail) they made here for us. It’s kind of unforgiving the whole way down.”
While 51 of the 52 racers were hanging on the entire way down the mountain, Sullivan made the most out of his final ski race. Sporting Lederhosen and a flannel, Sullivan glided down the track sporting his infectious smile, while hand-shaking, high-fiving and hugging coaches and course workers. At the finish, he was greeted by a champagne shower from his teammates to celebrate his retirement.
“So much goes into ski racing — over the years — it’s a pretty small community,” Sullivan said. “Going down the course, I knew a lot of the course workers, coaches — they’ve had a hand in my career helping me up along the way. I was just giving thanks to them and saying that it’s been a great ride.”
Sullivan, who grew up in Tahoe City, graduating from North Tahoe High School in 1998, said he felt mixed emotions as he reflected on his career in the finish.
“I’ve been on the U.S. Ski Team for 17 years — right out of high school that’s been my passion and my job and my whole life basically. To kind of hang it up after all these years, it’s sad in a way, but at the same time I see all these young kids with so much passion for it, just like I had at that age. It’s just exciting to see their journey is continuing and I’m kind of wrapping it up, so good things are still to come,” he said.
In the afternoon women’s race, Anna Marno won her first national title, edging World Cup veteran Laurenne Ross by .28 for the victory. Tricia Mangan, who was third in Wednesday’s alpine combined, grabbed her second bronze medal of the National Championships. Mangan was also the top junior. Truckee native Stacey Cook was sixth.
Among other Tahoe-area racers, Stephanie Lebby placed 15th, Francesca English was 16 and Keely Cashman 17th, while Keith Moffat was 20th for the men, Bryce Bennett was 23rd and Jordan Cashman 38th.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.