The U.S. Ski Team, captained by Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso, David Chodounsky and Tim Jitloff, finished second in the Nations Team Event at World Cup Finals (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Grosclaude)
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (March 14) - The U.S. Ski Team, captained by Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) and Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV), powered to second in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals Nations Team Event Friday. Anchored by Shiffrin and Chodounsky, who won every dual on the faster blue course, the team rolled past France in the opening round and Austria in the semifinal before losing on a tie break to Switzerland in the final. Individual racing continues Saturday with men's giant slalom where Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) is in the hunt for a career fifth GS crown and women's slalom, which Shiffrin wrapped up the title last week in Sweden.
The U.S. Ski Team, captained by Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) and Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV), powered to second in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals Nations Team Event.
Team USA rolled past France in the opening round and then defeated Austria in the semifinal before losing on a tie break to the host nation in the final.
Shiffrin and Chodounsky won every dual on the faster blue course. Jitloff and Mancuso raced each of their rounds on the slower red course, where no athlete was able to win during the event.
The tie break was decided by the fastest run in the final, which went to Switzerland's Reto Schmidiger with a time of 25.78, a mere .15 faster than Chodounsky's final run time.
Austria defeated Italy in the small final to finish third.
Following the team awards, World Cup sponsor Longines presented the Rising Star awards to Shiffrin and Alexis Pinturault of France, recognizing the the top female on tour under the age of 21 and the top male under the age of 23.
It was the second straight year Shiffrin and PInturault captured the honor.
Individual competition returns Sunday with a men's giant slalom showdown between Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Marcel Hirscher of Austria for the title. Ligety is seeking his career fifth.
Women's slalom will also be staged, though Shiffrin has already mathematically secured the title, her second straight, following her fifth victory of the season last weekend in Sweden.
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin I was really excited to do it because it's a mix of GS and slalom. It's a really fun event and everyone skied incredibly well. David is just really fast at these dual events and so are Julia and Tim. The red course was impossible to win on, but they still had fast times.
My motto is just go faster out of the start. You definitely have to be ready to go, but if you can get the timing down, you're not deciding when you want to go. You just have to go. I'm proud we were able to take second and it's actually cool to see Swizerland win at home. The fans were awesome.
On Longines Rising Star Award It's a really cool award because it doesn't just award someone who's won a World Cup, it awards a young athlete who's been successful throughout the course of a year. But I've had just an amazing season anyway, so this is just the cherry on top.
David Chodounsky I like doing these races. It's my kind of tempo. I think our team did really well and I'm personally proud of the way we skied. Plus it's good training for me before Sunday's slalom. It's kind of nice to be able to arrive at World Cup Finals and get a race under your belt before the big race. I had a little bit of bad luck at the last World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora so I'm looking to turn that around here and finish the season with a good result.