The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships Series is a 10-day event that has been taking place at the Winter Park Resort in Winter Park, Colo., since March 23, 2012. The men's and women's slalom were held on March 28 and 29. Additional events are also planned for this coming weekend.
Here's a quick rundown on the slalom results as well as what's next:
Women's Slalom Results
What went down at the women's slalom on March 28 once again reminded the world that skier Mikeala Shiffrin is not to be taken lightly. She was a blur of determination and conquered the course with a total time of 1:39.57, which earned her a 1st-place win. I suspect that the 17-year-old has a long and successful ski career ahead of her given how quickly she has seemed to progress.
In my opinion, all she has to work on now is developing consistency. American's Hailey Duke and Kiley Staples finished off the competition's top three.
Men's Slalom Results
The men's slalom on March 29 carried a lot of bittersweet action with it. The race brought an end to the illustrious career of Olympian Jimmy Cochran as well as a victory to Tommy Ford. Cochran had previously announced his desire to retire after completing Thursday's race and was hoping for one last win. Alas, it was not to be. He was doing well and then things took an unfortunate turn thanks to a hooked tip in the final.
It sort of reminded me of the Lindsey Vonn incident take took place in mid-March during a ski competition in Schladming, Austria. She was on track to break Hermann Maier's long-standing point's record only to have her efforts thwarted in the end by a ski pole mishap. Even though Cochran's hooked tip cost him his much sought after victory, he remained gracious. In my opinion, it was sad to see him leave the sport under such circumstances. It, however, did not diminish the legacy he leaves behind.
As a sports fan, I'd like to thank Cochran and his family for proudly representing our country for so many years. I wish him well in his future endeavors. Tommy Ford finished the slalom with a total time of 1:32.20, leaving Norwegian Leif Kristian Haugen to content himself with 2nd place. Americans Michael Ankeny, Will Brandenburg and Robby Kelley rounded out the competition's top five.
The Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships will continue on March 30 with the super G. The women's giant slalom is set to take place on March 31 and the men's giant slalom will follow on April 1. Winter sports fans will be able to watch the entire 10 days worth of competitive events on NBC in early April. Those that are interested should check their local listings for exact dates and times.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys watching winter sports with her family and has traveled extensively.
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