Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sugarloaf stages U.S. Alpine Championships

Hailey Duke second in slalom

Reigning World Cup women?s queen Lindsey Vonn (center) took the U.S. Nationals women's slalom Friday at Sugarloaf, Me. with Sun Valley native Hailey Duke (left) second and Jenny Lathrop third. Photo by Kris Dobie/U.S. Ski Team

The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships crowned men and women winners in downhill, super giant slalom and slalom during the first three days of competition March 22-24 at Maine's Sugarloaf/USA ski and snowboard resort. The giant slalom finales were set for Tuesday.

World Cup women's overall queen Lindsey Vonn won Friday's women's slalom for her fourth national title and second in slalom. She added the 2008 combined gold medal Monday. New Hampshire's Jimmy Cochran won his second national slalom crown and the combined gold.

Sun Valley native Hailey Duke was the slalom silver medalist Friday, her best-ever finish at the U.S. Nationals.

Taking their first national titles were Kevin Francis of Bend, Ore. (SG) and TJ Lanning of Park City, Utah (DH). Stacey Cook of Mammoth, Ca. was the winner of the women's SG and tacked on the downhill title Monday by a .09-second margin over World Cup downhill champion Vonn.

Ketchum's Sean Higgins, 23, posted a solid 10th place finish in Friday's slalom and University of Vermont senior Zac Brown of Sun Valley was 12th in the same 43-racer SL. Miles Fink-Debray of Sun Valley finished 44th in SG and 39th DH.

The U.S. combined championship was determined by Monday's downhill and Friday's slalom at Sugarloaf.

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