Sun soaks the Winter Park Resort race start during the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships that were held prior to U.S. Championships (NASTAR)
WINTER PARK, CO (March 26) – Hundreds of athletes from U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association club programs from across the nation have converged on Winter Park Resort to challenge the America's top skiers, including Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) for national titles at the March 28-April Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships. Sunshine is predicted throughout the week as slalom, giant slalom, super G and a traditional combined are contested on the Lower Hughes race arena with prize money awarded to the top three finishers each day.
The 2012 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships are March 28-April 1 at Winter Park Resort.
Hundreds of young athletes from USSA club programs will race against their heroes for U.S. titles.
World Cup podium finishers Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) are scheduled to compete.
Mancuso, who will race super G and giant slalom, holds a record 13 U.S. Championship titles.
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) is the defending super G, giant slalom and combined champion.
At the end of the championships the top point scoring region is awarded the Tom Garner Memorial Trophy. The Western Region is the defending champions.
QUOTES Julia Mancuso U.S. Championships is always such a great time. The weather is usually pretty warm and it's great to see all the young racers from across the country. I remember being one of those racers and I was always so fired up to come out and race against the best.
Tommy Ford For some reason I always race well at U.S. Championships. It's the end of the season for most of us and everyone is usually pretty tired, but I still go hard. A lot of the time, the conditions are soft and pretty challenging and that's when I seem to ski my best.
Mikaela Shiffrin Winning the slalom title last year was a big confidence booster for me. I couldn't believe that I was standing on the podium next to racers like Resi Stiegler and Sarah Schleper. It will be cool this year to go back to Winter Park, try and defend my title and see what all the other young racers are doing.
TV The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships will air April 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC
SCHEDULE Wednesday, March 28 – women's slalom Thursday, March 29 – men's slalom Friday, March 30 – men's and women's super G Saturday, March 31 – women's giant slalom Sunday, April 1 – men's giant slalom