March 30, 2007
GIRDWOOD, ALASKA - (USST News Bureau Release) - Two-time Olympian Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) attacked all the way Friday to win his second U.S. gold medal in the downhill by more than a second opening the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Alyeska Resort.
Versus will broadcast coverage from Alyeska at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 7.
"It's been a long time since I won a race, and even longer since I won by over a second," Sullivan, the 2002 U.S. super G champion, said at the finish. "It's a really good course and I took advantage of every opportunity; I wasn't taking a lot of risks, but I would build speed, shave my line and power through the turns. I was charging all the way."
His winning time was 1:43.70 over the 2.8K course with NorAm downhill champion Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID) silver medalist in 1:44.79. Jeremy Transue (Hunter, NY), who won the FIS (non-tile) DH Thursday, was third with a time of a time of 1:44.85.
"I had a good run," Sullivan said. "This course is really good. It's not overly gnarly, but there are some good jumps, some good gliding...and it's got a lot going for it.
Sullivan nailed the fast line
"A lot of guys were going fast, but I don't think they took the mountain to its potential. They had the speed but it's not just speed on this course and if you calculated right, or you just powered it through, you could save some time...and I skied pretty good, definitely a good run," Sullivan said.
He tested different skis in the training runs and in Thursday's FIS DH before selecting his skis for the title race, Sullivan said. "I've got new skis this week from Nordica and they were running fast. It's nice we had three guys on Nordica in the top six" with T.J. Lanning (Park City, UT) fifth and Scott Macartney (Redmond, WA) sixth.
Men's Head Coach Phil McNichol said, "It's a good start for the championships. We've got a beautiful blue sky, cold temperatures, great snow. We saw this kind of good snow only a few times this year, mostly in Colorado in December" at the VISA Birds of Prey races, the lone men's World Cup stop in the United States this season.
Coach: "You have to be on your game"
"Marco's been skiing great. He's relaxed and it showed in his skiing. He didn't make any big mistakes...and now he's the downhill champion," McNichol said. "You have to be clean on this course and manage your run. You have to be on your game all the way."
Defending champion Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) finished 12th (1:45.62) after his baggage, including his skis and other equipment didn't arrive until Thursday. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), the reigning back-to-back combined U.S. champion, was 13th.
"You just kind of tuck it and aim the ski where you want," Miller said. "It's hard to figure out where to make up time on a course like that."
Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) was the top junior in the race, finishing eighth overall. His time was 1:45.43.
The men race super G Saturday at Alyeska before the schedule turns to the tech events - slalom Sunday and giant slalom Tuesday.