US Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley

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Squaw Valley, California The US Alpine Championships were held at Squaw Valley, USA this weekend. The best skiers in the country were all here. Some, like Mikaela Shiffrin and our own Julia Mancuso, are fresh from the Olympic podium. Squaw Valley has not had a tremendous snow season, but they put on an amazing event. It is astounding to me how many phenomenal skiers are coming out of Squaw. The enthusiastic reception of the event by local ski fans and ski racers is a tribute to Squaw’s positive influence in the world of Alpine ski racing. I had the opportunity on Saturday to go to the Slalom race. I watched the men’s & women’s first runs. Like no other venue, Squaw is able to turn out an impressive audience. With its long-established race program, starting skiers in their pre-school ages in the Mighty Mights Program, all the way to the US Championships, the fan base is kind of built-in. Kids lined the fencing at the bottom of the course, eager to catch a glimpse of their favorite skiers, give them high-fives, and get autographs on shirts, helmets, hats and arms - whatever surface was close. You could tell the skiers were very pleased by the large, youthful turnout and their support. The slalom course for today’s race was on the Red Dog run. This is a steep run and even though the weather was warm, Squaw had done a great job with course conditions. Of 83 racers in the men’s division, only 32 finished both runs. 51 racers either didn’t finish or disqualified. Most everyone came away with respect for the course, the conditions and the mountain. It was a gorgeous day with lots of star-struck ski fans. It was a real treat to see some of our prodigal children back home again and up close. Travis Ganong, Tim Jitloff, and Julia Mancuso represented some of the biggest known local names. And for names that you may not have heard much, but soon will, we saw exciting performances from Mark Engel & Foreste Peterson. Addison Dvoracek, Garrett Driller, Jordan Cashman, James Lebel, Erik Arvidsson rounded out the boys’ side. For the girls’ side, Francesca English (daughter of superstar Tamara McKinney) is one to keep your eye on for sure. The US Alpine Championships will not come back to Squaw for another 4 years at best, so it was a super exciting opportunity to see the world’s best and soon-to-be best skiers up close and personal in our own back yard.  Photo Gallery

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