Wilmington, NY – Olympian Tommy Ford, of Bend, Ore., took his third title Monday in the 2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championship men’s giant slalom at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center near Lake Placid, N.Y. Warner Nickerson (Gilford, N.H.) and Chris Frank (Windham, N.Y.) joined Ford on the podium, finishing second and third, respectively.n”The last two years I’ve been fighting to get the GS win right behind Jit [Tim Jitloff; Reno, Nev.], and I finally got it today. I’m excited,” Ford said. “I’m excited with my slalom yesterday. I’ve been looking for speed all year and finally put it together today in a race.”
After several delays lasting more than two hours, hosing down the hill with water, throwing bags of salt and course holds, the 2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships pulled through Monday with the men’s GS. Despite rain and fog, the racers persevered through one of ski racing’s most unpredictable variables, weather.
Ford seemed to be the least phased by the scenario, leading the pack by nearly a second after the first run, and hammering down the second to add to his U.S. Championships success. Ford also placed fifth in the super G, first in the slalom and first in the combined.
“That’s ski racing – hurry up and wait. I’ve been skiing in rain and crappy weather for all my life, you just get used to it,” said Ford. “You can’t really prepare for it, you just to go out and don’t think about it.”
Nickerson laid down a blistering final run to take second, besting his third place finish from last year’s GS race, followed by Frank.
“My first run wasn’t that good, I didn’t have confidence, so I didn’t ski that well. Luckily, I started one so I didn’t move to far back,” admitted Nickerson. “Second run I just got really fired up and tried to pin it as hard as I could and go as straight as I could. Luckily, I made it to the bottom.”
Robby Kelley (Starksboro, Vt.), of Mount Mansfield Winter Sports Academy, was crowned top junior after ripping both runs to finish in 10th overall. Kelley is the youngest brother of U.S. Ski Team members Jess and Tim Kelley, and a cousin with the legendary ski racing Cochran family. World Junior combined gold medalist Colby Granstrom (Lake Stevens, Wash.) of the U.S. Development Team was second followed by Burke Mountain Academy’s Kieffer Christianson (Anchorage, Alaska) in third.
The women’s U.S. Championship GS race is scheduled for today at Whiteface Mountain with three-time Olympian medalist, Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, Calif.) in the gate.
2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships
Lake Placid, NY – March 22, 2010
1. Tommy Ford, Bend, OR, 2:09.14
2. Warner Nickerson, Gilford, NH, 2:09.93
3. Chris Frank, Windham, NY, 2:10.74
4. David Donaldson, Canada, 2:11.14
5. Dane Spencer, Boise, ID, 2:11.35