Two-time Olympian Resi Stiegler came within one-one hundredth of a second of winning the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships women's slalom after finishing second to Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon. (Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team)
SQUAW VALLEY, CA (March 22) - Two-time Olympian Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) finished one one-hundredth of a second behind Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon Saturday as women's slalom officially wrapped up the 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships in Squaw Valley. NorAm slalom champion Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV), who grew up near the 1960 Olympic Village, finished third to the roar of the local crowd. Racing action continues Sunday with an FIS women's giant slalom to close out five incredible days in Squaw Valley. NBC will broadcast a one-hour TV special on the event Sunday, March 23 at noon ET.
Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon captured the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships slalom title by a slim one one-hundredth of a second over Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY).
2014 NorAm slalom champion and U.S. Developement Team member Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) captured third to the roar of thousands of local fans.
Lapanja was also the top junior in the event, followed by teammates Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA) and Paula Motzan (Lakeville, MN), who finished fourth and sixth respectively.
The final Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships event also awards the Tom Garner Memorial Trophy to the top region for overall performance at the championships.
The 2014 trophy went to the defending champion Western Region, who bested the Eastern and Rocky/Central Regions.
A record number of fans flooded the finish area during each race to commemorate the annual celebration of American ski racing.
Racing continues Sunday at Squaw Valley with a women's FIS giant slalom on Red Dog, the 1960 Olympic slalom hill.
NBC will broadcast a one-hour special recapping the championships on Sunday, March 23 at noon ET.
QUOTES Marie-Michele Gagnon It’s kind of the story of my season this year: a solid, okay, not-so-fast first run and then a killing second run. I really need to learn for the future, for the World Cup, to be able to lay one of those down in the first run as well. That’s what I’m working on. There’s always a bit of doubt in the first run and I have to be able to put that away. I’m happy to be winning today. It was an exciting race with Resi. Resi is skiing great.
Resi Stiegler Mich [Gagnon] and I are pretty good friends. We’ve had such a great couple years together and so it’s kind of fun to have her here. Obviously I’m not stoked that she beat me by a hundie, but it’s pretty cool to be happy when one of your best friends is ahead of you.
It’s been a tough season but I’m really happy that the end of the season is kind of coming together.
I think it’s great, especially for Lila, to have more races with girls that she is going to be competing with next year because she got the (NorAm) title. I think it’s really cool to see these girls step up from the beginning of the year especially. It’s all just really fun and it’s such a good atmosphere and a really cool experience for everybody.
Lila Lapanja Alongside my NorAm slalom title goal I had written that I wanted to win the U.S. National slalom race. This is my best finish at a U.S. Nationals ever. So I’m super happy with how I skied today. I put my whole heart out on the hill.
Both of my parents are out here, my mom’s mom is out here from Iowa and I have some cousins out from Minnesota cheering me on. I have so much support from the Diamond Peak Ski Team. There are so many younger girls who are here, and I’m so happy that they have a chance to come out and be inspired by amazing ski racing.