Squaw Valley local and 2013 World Championships medalist Julia Mancuso will headline the March 20-24 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alexis Boichard)
SQUAW VALLEY, CA (March 18) – World Championship gold medalists Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) roll to the hometown of Olympic gold winner and record setting major championship medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) March 20-24 for the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships. Mancuso, who cut her teeth with the Squaw Valley Ski Team, has eight Olympic and World Championship medals and a record 15 U.S. Championships – a number she'll be gunning to boost this week in Squaw. Over 500 top racers from U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association programs will descend on the legendary 1960 Olympic host mountain this week for the annual championships.
The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships open March 20 and run through March 24 in Squaw Valley, CA – host of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games.
The U.S. Ski Team enters the event after closing a historic Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season that produced 33 podiums from 10 different athletes, including 18 victories.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) headlines the championships with a banner season that resulted in three World Championship titles and six World Cup giant slalom wins for his fourth World Cup giant slalom title.
World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) will race at Squaw as two-time defending U.S. slalom champion, fresh off a legendary first World Cup slalom title.
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) narrowly missed a shot at the World Cup super G title when the final race was canceled and enters the U.S. Championships with a record (male and female) 15 U.S. titles.
Squaw Valley will also host the final Audi Ski Challenge, a U.S. Ski Team Pro/Am race and celebrate U.S. Ski Team Day with a Dawn Patrol ski with the Team.
The U.S. Championships are a culmination of the ski racing year which brings together the U.S. Ski Team and hundreds of young athletes from U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association club programs from across the country to battle for titles in super G, giant slalom, slalom and combined. The Tom Garner Memorial Trophy is also presented to the top performing region at the Championships.
NBC will air a special Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships show on March 24 at noon ET.
QUOTES Julia Mancuso I’m really excited to have Nationals at Squaw Valley. It’s an awesome place. I grew up training there on the run that’s now Julia’s Gold, so that’s very exciting and I really look forward to it.
I’ve raced on the race hill in Squaw a few times, but it’s U.S. Nationals. My team is fast so I have to try to do my best so I can get some more national titles.
Squaw Valley is an incredible place full of Champions and growing up there just made me inspired to be the best skier I could possibly be. I didn’t even know if it would be racing. I looked at people like Shane McConkey and on the race side Tamara McKinney. I had these aspirations of just having fun and skiing and playing outside. At Squaw Valley, that’s what it’s all about, just getting out on the mountain and having fun and expressing yourself in whatever way you want.I love racing Nationals. It’s springtime. It’s the end of the year and I have a lot of fun, especially with it being at home.
Marco Sullivan The best part about having the Champs at Squaw is going to be skiing around with all these people that I travel with all year. We ski around a lot of cool ski areas but next week I’ll finally bring them to my home area and get to show them the ropes. We’ll go do some good freeskiing and hopefully have some good racing in the middle and just show off what we have with all these folks from the U.S.
My first national title was actually at Squaw in 2002 so I have good memories from that hill. It’s really not too difficult of a track, pretty straightforward; you’ve just got to make some nice turns. There’s a couple little secret spots but I’m going to keep those to myself. (laughs)
Squaw is just a good family of people, lots of families that are into racing that live around the area. It’s a little bit cutoff from the other parts of the U.S. that are always racing against each other. The East Coast has a big community and Colorado/Utah too. We kind of get shut out sometimes in the west, but growing up there you just build around that centralized family that you have in Tahoe. Everyone comes out of there just having fun and skiing well. When you get up onto the national stage you realize that we really have a good thing going.
Travis Ganong The best part about racing U.S. Nationals back home is that it’s at home. I get to sleep in my own bed for the first time all season, ski the best mountain in the world, get to be with all my friends and actually get to ski in front of my family and all my friends. It’s the first time I’ve raced at Squaw probably since I was a Mighty Mite. I don’t even know. I haven’t raced there in a long time. It’s really fun to come back and ski at home.
There’s so many people on the U.S. Ski Team from Squaw Valley. That mountain just breeds good skiers. I have a lot to give back to the mountain. That mountain taught me how to do what I do now. So it’s fun to come back home and show all my other teammates that place, if they’ve never been there, and end the season with some good California sunshine and some good powder hopefully.
Thursday, March 21 8:45 a.m. - Women's giant slalom, first run 10:30: a.m. - Women's giant slalom, second run 1:00 p.m. - Men's giant slalom, first run 2:30 p.m. - Men's giant slalom, second run 3:00 p.m. - Audi Ski Challenge - Nature Valley NASTAR Venue 4:00 p.m. - Awards and Music - KT's Deck
Friday, March 22 9:00 a.m. - Women's super G 12:00 p.m. - Men's super G 3:00 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies, Awards, U.S. Ski Team Autograph Session
Saturday, March 23 7:00 a.m. - U.S. Ski Team Day Dawn Patrol 9:00 a.m. – Men’s slalom, first run 12:00 p.m. – Men’s slalom, second run 2:00 p.m. - U.S. Ski Team Pro/Am Race - Julia's Gold 2:00 p.m. - Awards and Music - KT's Deck
Sunday, March 24 9:00 a.m. - Women's slalom, first run 12:00 p.m. - Women's slalom, second run 2:00 p.m. - Awards and Music - KT's Deck