Incline’s Lapanja skies to 1st career national title

The Sun staff
American alpine skier Lila Lapanja stands at the base of Aspen Highlands after placing first in the Women’s Alpine Combined National Champinoships on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times


Incline Village’s Lila Lapanja is a national champion.

Lapanja has been competing this week at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Aspen, Colorado, where she posted a fifth-place finish in super-G and second in slalom to claim the combined national title.

Lapanja, 26, has stood on the U.S. Alpine Championships podium seven times before, but never as champion until this week.

“I was super excited about the super-G because I wasn’t expecting that and I wanted to be within striking distance for slalom, and so to come down with that result yesterday was really exciting for me,” said Lapanja in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “That was my best super-G result at U.S. Nationals as well. Then, I just tried to do what I know how to do in slalom, and keep it really simple.

“It’s always fun to race here at Highlands — I’ve had a couple of successful days here at Highlands, so there’s good energy on this hill for me,” added Lapanja. “It’s really strange racing U.S. Nationals so late in the season, usually, at this point, we’re wrapping up, and to maintain the mental focus needed to go this long into the season after spending five months in Europe required some patience on my part and some rest…lots of rest. I’m happy.”

Lapanja went on to take first place in Thursday’s giant slalom event for her second national title of the week. She will wrap up the championships today by competing in slalom.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.