|SUGARLOAF, Maine (March 22) - World Cup overall champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) laid down the fastest runs to win national slalom titles at the 2008 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships Saturday.|
The queen of women's skiing, Vonn won the slalom with nearly two seconds to spare to make it her fourth U.S. title, and second in slalom.
"Today was a great race. The atmosphere here is really good and I'm really glad that we're back here," Vonn said. "The first run was good. It was solid skiing. The course is pretty quick and tight. The second run was pretty rutted, but I just tried to have a solid run with nothing special. I knew I had a big margin after the first run so I didn't push my limits too hard."
While Vonn led the pack, the U.S. Ski Team's Hailey Duke (Boise, ID) came in second, and Jenny Lathrop (North Conway, NH) was third.
"I was a little nervous in the first run that all these young skiers were going to come up and beat me because they all look so good. It's cool racing against all these little kids. I remember I was in the same position when I was younger and hopefully they're having fun."
Although Vonn is the World Cup overall and downhill champion, she said that winning a national title is just as important to her.
"It's big. It is the U.S. Nationals. You're the best in the United States and that's cool, Vonn said. "It means something to me. I remember when I was 15 I thought it was the coolest thing ever to be the national champion."
2008 NATURE VALLEY U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sugarloaf, ME - March 22, 2008
1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:26.31
2. Hailey Duke, Boise, ID, 1:28.21
3. Jenny Lathrop, North Conway, NH, 1:28.42
4. Keely Kelleher, Gallatin Gateway, MT, 1:30.86
5. Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, VT, 1:31.21
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com