SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Anna Marno (Centennial, Wyo.) took her first national title, as five-time U.S. national giant slalom champion Tim Jitloff (Reno) scored his first in super G Thursday at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships.
Thursday’s super G was also Marco Sullivan’s (Squaw Valley) final race, capping a 17-year U.S. Ski Team career.
In the afternoon women’s race, Marno nipped World Cup veteran Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) by 0.28 for the victory. Tricia Mangan (Buffalo, N.Y. ), who was third in Wednesday’s alpine combined, grabbed her second bronze medal of the National Championships. Mangan was also the top junior.
“I’ve been to eight Nationals now, and I’ve been close a few years. So this is a good place to do it – I love Sun Valley,” Marno said. “I’ve had some good results here and I finally made it up to the top step.”
Jitloff grabbed his first super G national title on a tight, twisty and technical track that kept the racers on their toes. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.) was second, followed by Erik Arvidsson (Woodside), who was the top-placed junior, in third.
“The course is very challenging,” Jitloff said. “I think when people come to nationals they think that maybe it’s going to be a little bit easier, but they definitely didn’t give us an easy track here. A lot of guys were close to going out, or (did) go out. I certainly was on the limit. But the track is excellent. They did a heck of a job with the new (trail) they made here for us. It’s kind of unforgiving the whole way down.”
While 51 of the 52 racers were hanging on the entire way down the mountain, Sullivan made the most out of his final ski race. Sporting Lederhosen and a flannel shirt, Sullivan glided down the track sporting his infectious smile, while hand shaking, high-fiving and hugging coaches and course workers. At the finish, he was greeted by a champagne shower from his teammates to celebrate his retirement.
“So much goes into ski racing – over the years – it’s a pretty small community,” Sullivan said. “Going down the course, I knew a lot of the course workers, coaches—they’ve had a hand in my career helping me up along the way. I was just giving thanks to them and saying that it’s been a great ride.”