The 2013 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships are set to swing through Squaw Valley from March 20-24, allowing the region to see America’s top skiers compete on U.S. soil as they gear up for next year’s winter games in Sochi, Russia.
The event will also be an opportunity for Squaw Valley Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso, who recently finished second overall in the World Cup super G standings, as well as Olympians Marco Sullivan and Stacey Cook and Olympic hopeful Travis Ganong to compete in a world-class event on home turf.
Squaw Valley last hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2002, which proved to be a great success for Squaw athletes, as Sullivan came in first in the super G and Mancuso came in third in the GS.
“We’re absolutely honored to be hosting the 2013 U.S. Alpine Championships,” said Andy Wirth, Squaw Valley’s president and CEO. “Squaw has a very proud heritage of hosting the Winter Olympics and producing a great number of Olympians and world-class athletes. We are excited to offer unique and challenging terrain for the competitions on what are some of the most spectator-friendly courses that the Alpine Championships has ever seen.”
After a successful World Cup season in Europe, the event will welcome World Championship medalists back to America, including Ted Ligety and teen phenom Mikaela Shiffrin. It will also include local rising ski racers Bryce Bennett, Nick Daniels, Keith Moffat, Foreste Peterson and Lila Lapanja.
“It’s really cool to see all the great stuff happening at Squaw,” Mancuso said. “To have U.S. nationals back just shows the commitment to racing and its roots here in Squaw Valley. It’s nice to be able to stay home and race in my backyard — which I also consider to be the best resort in America — so I am psyched.”
Mancuso upped her already impressive major championship medal total to eight with super G bronze at the Schladming, Austria, World Championships on Feb. 5. Mancuso owns a record of 15 U.S. titles and is the defending giant slalom and super G champion.
Athletes will compete for U.S. titles in super G, giant slalom, slalom and combined. The downhill was contested in December at Copper Mountain, Colo.