Wilmington, NY – Three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso captured the 11th U.S. ski racing title of her career with a victory in the women’s giant slalom to close the 2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center near Lake Placid on Tuesday.n”I actually haven’t skied giant slalom since the Olympics, so it was nice to get back on my GS skis,” said Mancuso, of Olympic Valley, Calif.
Mancuso was also the giant slalom champion in ’09, ’05, and ’03. With 11 titles, she now moves past U.S. great Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most titles of any American male or female, breaking a record that has stood for 55 years.
The weekend brought some closure to a season in which Mancuso had worked long and hard.
“Coming back from a back injury I always had the goal of getting ready for the Olympics. Even going into last season it hurt. I wanted to keep trying. Just being able to see the reward of the plan paying off was really amazing,” Mancuso said.
Second place for the day went to Laurenne Ross (Klamath Falls, Ore.) who produced the fastest second run. Ross was also third in the super G and second in the combined at Whiteface.
Malin Hemmingson of Sweden was third followed by U.S. downhill champion Leanne Smith, of Conway, N.H.
The top U.S. junior was Julia Ford (Plymouth, N.H.) out of U.S. Development Team, though the fastest junior was Erin Mielzynski of Canada. J-2 Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, Calif.) of the Squaw Valley Ski Team was the next fastest U.S. junior followed by Abby Ghent (Edwards, Colo.) of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
The USSA Western Region took the 2010 Tom Garner Regions Cup with 2,903 points, followed by the East with 1,869 and Rocky/Central with 986.
Tuesday also marked the final race for Kaylin Richardson (Edina, Minn.), a two-time Olympian and seven-year member of the U.S. Ski Team. She ran both runs of giant slalom in a puffy red one piece ski suit circa 1980, with her parents making the trip from Minnesota just to see their daughter’s last event.
2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships
Lake Placid, NY – March 22, 2010
Women’s Giant Slalom
1. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 2:07.52
2. Laurenne Ross, Klamath Falls, OR, 2:08.11
3. Malin Hemmingsson, Sweden, 2:08.25
4. Leanne Smith, Conway, NH, 2:08.98
5. Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 2:09.17