Jackie Wiles - shown here while training downhill during the Nature Valley Raptor women's World Cup week in Beaver Creek, CO - won her second straight U.S. Alpine Championship downhill title (Getty Images - Matthew Stockman)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Jan. 10) – Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) and Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA) claimed the U.S Alpine Championships downhill titles during a chilly Tuesday at U.S. Ski Team Speed Center. It was the second straight U.S. downhill gold for Wiles, who nearly scored Audi FIS Alpine World Cup points last weekend in both Lake Louise downhill races, the second and third World Cup starts of her young career. Bennett also harnessed momentum from his first World Cup start – also in Lake Louise – to capture his first U.S. title with the men’s downhill crown. The super G, giant slalom, slalom and combined titles will be up for grabs March 19-23, 2014 at Squaw Valley, CA during the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships.
Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) won her second consecutive U.S. Alpine Championships downhill title.
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA), who finished second a year earlier, captured the men’s title for his first U.S. championship.
The race, originally slated for Thursday, was held at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain.
Both Wiles and Bennett started the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup races of their careers recentely in Lake Louse, Alberta with Wiles narrowly missing points in both women’s downhills.
Katie Hartman (Breckenridge, CO) was second followed by Katie Ryan (Aspen, CO), who was also the top junior woman.
2013 men’s downhill champion Jared Goldeberg (Holladay, UT) took second in the men’s race followed by Artem Borodaykin of Russia, who was also the top junior.
NorAm racing continues this week at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center with men’s and women’s speed races through Dec. 15.
The super G, giant slalom, slalom and combined titles will be awarded March 19-23 at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships held in Squaw Valley, CA.
QUOTES Jackie Wiles I’m skiing really fast right now and I have pretty good confidence in what I’m doing. Today was just another good day. We’ve trained (at Copper) quite a bit in November, and so I knew the hill really well. I knew what to expect. Yesterday, I didn’t have the best training run, But coming into today, I had to forget about that and know that I can do it.
I’m very fortunate to be training with incredibly talented and super fast women. On any given day, any one of us can be at the top. It’s perfect because we push each other back and forth, really helping each other out and making each other faster.
Bryce Bennett It was pretty cold, hovering around zero degrees, partly cloudy, and a pretty good day for downhill. I had a couple lines picked out that were a little straighter than I did in training. Those that I could just go for, and it worked out.
We’ve got a long season ahead of us and I’m looking forward to getting some more World Cup experience, but I’m also looking forward to going back to Squaw at the end of the season to hopefully compete for another title or two.