March 31, 2007
GIRDWOOD, ALASKA - (USST News Bureau Release) - World Cup super G champion Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) tied the U.S. record for most men's national championships Saturday, winning the super G - his ninth title - on Day Two of the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Alyeska Resort.
Miller, the 2005 World Cup overall champion and '05 SG world champion, won two World Cup super Gs this winter; he was timed in 1:07.35 for the victory, his second U.S. super G crown. Steven Nyman (Provo, UT) was silver medalist in 1:07.56 with T.J. Lanning (Park City, UT) in third place (1:08.08).
Versus will broadcast coverage from the championships Saturday, April 7 at 6 p.m. ET. The victory ties Miller with Tiger Shaw and Dick Durrance for the most men's U.S. gold medals; former Olympic champion Andrea Mead Lawrence holds the overall U.S. mark with 10 national championships.
Big jump, possible big problems
Miller was stymied Friday in the opening downhill at Alyeska because his equipment was late arriving in Alaska. He skied fifth in the super G and immediately radioed back to the start to advise teammates about tricky conditions in a couple of spots; the men raced in shade because the sun had not risen above the ridgeline when the race began at 10:30 a.m., so it was tough to pickup some surface conditions.
Miller and Nyman said the Waterfall jump in mid-run created problems for most racers because it was tough to handle and then led into a rhythmical section - but it was hard to catch the rhythm starting the section after the jump.
"There are basically two big turns leading into the rhythmical section but the speed was higher than what we thought," Miller said. Pre-race inspection told racers it would be a tough patch, so that wasn't a surprise, he said, "but it was hard to anticipate how that section was gonna run."
He added, "I was fine through the rhythmical section and carried good speed through the bottom. I make a lot of mistakes but sometimes pay less (lose less speed) than the other guys. It was a matter of who made the smallest mistakes."
Nyman said, "It's a tough course, pretty turny and then the Waterfall jump, which really sucked you down the hill and you had to move fast to get back on your skis. And in the flat light, it was tougher. It was eating up some skiers. 'Mac' (Scott Macartney, Redmond, WA - who was sixth) went down on his hip and others had big problems, too.
"There were holes and ditches that were kicking you. Skiing in the shadow was a little like we were running this at nine o'clock at night," Nyman laughed.
For the second straight day, Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) had the top junior result. He finished fifth overall with a time of 1:08.32.
The championships continue Sunday with the men's slalom.
A complete list of U.S. victories for Miller, Shaw and Durrance is available at http://fanmail.ussa.org/ct/ct.php?t=1899653&c=970614369&m=m&type=1&h=0362A3C995DBDAF816C4544ACB73B415.
For complete results: www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=21397&cal_suchsector=AL.