Marie-Michele Gagnon wins slalom at U.S. Alpine Championships
Canadian captures title by a hundredth of a second
Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon captured the women's slalom title at the U.S. Alpine Championships by a hundredth of a second in Squaw Valley, Calif., Saturday.
The native of Lac-Etchemin, Que., finished two runs in one minutes 39.61 seconds ahead of American Resi Stiegler, who led after the first leg but finished in 1:39.62.
Lila Lapanja of Lake Tahoe was third in 1:41.70. American Olympic gold medallist and overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin failed to finish the first leg.
"It's kind of the story of my season so far this year: A solid, OK, not-so-fast first run and a killing second run," said Gagnon, who was 10th behind Shiffrin in the Sochi Olympics slalom after dislocating her left shoulder in an earlier race.
Shiffrin made a mistake late in Saturday's opening run.
"I felt like I just got going a little bit too fast and I didn't move my feet quick enough. In inspection, I saw this section of the course, and I'm like, 'Oh, you can let it rip there. The finish is in sight.' So I let it go. I just let it go a little bit too much and got a little bit out of balance," said Shiffrin, who turned 19 on March 13. "I'm bummed that I don't get a second run."
In the men's slalom earlier Saturday, David Chodounsky won his second U.S. Alpine Championships title.
Chodounsky, who also won the slalom at nationals in 2009, finished with a two-run time of 1:35.82 seconds. He was in third place after the opening leg, but made up his deficit in the second leg.
"I was on the limit at a couple spots, but it worked out," said Chodounsky, who failed to finish the slalom at the Sochi Olympics and finished 19th in the World Cup discipline standings.
First-run leader Tim Kelley was next in 1:36.24. Will Brandenburg was third.
"This national title keeps eluding me, and I'm not happy about it," Brandenburg said.