U.S. Alpine Speed Championships
Ski racing is in Sugarloaf's DNA, and from the very beginning, the mountain has been the East Coast's premier proving ground for the world's best skiers. As the only East Coast location to ever host a World Cup downhill, and home to Carrabassett Valley Academy, the country's premier ski and snowboard academy, Sugarloaf has produced many of the world's best snowsport athletes, including Bode Miller, Kirsten Clark, Julie Parisien, Sam Morse, Seth Wescott, Alex Tuttle, and many more. We hope you'll join us this winter as the nation's best once again test themselves on the fabled Narrow Gauge trail.
Downhill, Super G, and Combined
Lodging Still Available
The U.S. Alpine Speed Championships will be held March 16-21 at Sugarloaf. This will be the 7th U.S. National Championship event held at Sugarloaf, but the first official 'Speed Championship', with Downhill, Super-G, and Combined events.
|March 16||Downhill Training|
|March 17||Downhill Training|
|March 18||Downhill NorAm Cup Finals|
|March 19||Downhill National Championships|
|March 20||Alpine Combined National Championships|
|March 21||Super-G National Championships|
This year, we get to ring those cowbells for one of our own! Among those vying for titles will be U.S. Ski Team member and Carrabassett Valley local Sam Morse. Sam thrives in the speed events of Downhill and Super G, having won the Junior World Downhill title in 2017. He also took second and third in the U.S. Alpine Downhill Championships in 2017 and 2018, so his chances for a medal on his home mountain are pretty good.
Formerly coached by five-time Olympian Casey Puckett, Alice McKennis knows a thing or two about speed events. Her resume includes a World Cup downhill win, multiple World Cup super G top 10's, and a 20th in the World Cup DH standing.
Rowmark Academy grad Breezy Johnson moved up to A Team this season after bursting onto the World Cup scene in a big way during the 2016-17 season, where she finished 18th in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill standings and 36th in super-G.
How fast is this Pacific Northwest ripper? Fast enough to land World Cup points in her rookie season, including a top 15 during a three-day stand in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which ultimately punched her ticket to the Olympics (where she finished 26th in downhill).
A talented artist as well as a ski racer, Laurenne Ross is one of the most dynamic athletes on and off the snow with incredible talent on violin, piano, guitar, vocals and as a visual artist.
Olympian and daughter to Olympic gold medalist Pepi Stiegler, Resi (RAY-zee) Stiegler was born and grew up in prime ski country (Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Lienz, Austria). She's represented the United States at every level of alpine ski racing—Topolino, Whistler Cup, Junior Worlds, World Cup, World Championships and the Olympics.
As a 17-year-old National Training Group (NTG) athlete in 2015, Nina O'Brien wowed the crowd when she snagged the national title in giant slalom ahead of U.S. Ski Team member Paula Moltzan and veteran Megan McJames at U.S. Alpine Championships right here at Sugarloaf.
Alice Merryweather learned to ski at four years old on the wintery slopes of Attitash Mountain, chasing her brother down the hill. This was how she discovered her passion for speed. When she was eight, her parents signed both kids up for the Attitash Race Team, and she fell in love with the sport.
Abi says she "grew up in the forest," and off the hill she likes to mountain bike and listen to Beyonce. Her favorite memory as a competitor? "My co-ed elementary soccer team was undefeated," she says.
Former National Training Group (NTG) athlete turned heads during the 2015 season at U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf when she snagged a podium amongst juniors in giant slalom. Her solid stint as an NTG athlete allowed her to propel on to the D Team for the 2016 season.
Moltzan took her momentum from her top 30 success at the 2015 World Championships to Junior Worlds and became the first American woman to win a slalom gold. She capped the season off with two second place finishes at U.S. Alpine Championships here at Sugarloaf.
Zoe Zimmermann began skiing at age two, at Gunstock Mountain in her hometown of Gilford, New Hampshire. Dressed in a pink one-piece suit and under three feet tall, she would turn heads as she barreled straight down the mountain in her snowplow with her father close by yelling at her to “LOOK AHEAD!!"
2015 World Championships silver medalist Travis Ganong knows how to pick a line down a racecourse and in the backcountry, but it was the line set by his older sisters, Megan and Ali, that helped reel him into ski racing.
Olympian Tommy Ford is one of the fastest movers in ski racing. The U.S. Ski Team took notice after he locked four gold medals at the 2006 U.S. Junior Championships. His impressive 2015 season included a 2nd place finish in the GS at U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf.
Sugarloaf's own Sam Morse snagged some impressive results at World Juniors on the 2014 Olympic track in Sochi, with a fourth in downhill and 13th in the combined. During the 2017 season, Morse continued the momentum at Junior World Championships in Are, Sweden, grabbing three top six results and was crowned Junior Worlds Downhill champion alongside teammate Alice Merryweather for a USA gold medal sweep.
Another in the long line of Squaw Valley powder hounds (Julia Mancuso, Marco Sullivan, Travis Ganong), Bryce Bennett blasted onto the U.S. Ski Team in the same way he hucks cliffs at Squaw – by going big.
Without the bottomless powder at Snowbird, Jared Goldberg would not be a member of the U.S. Ski Team. "Well, I certainly wouldn't be a ski racer, that's for sure," he says. But by age 14 he was invested and it didn't take long for that to turn into racing at the elite level.
River Radamus qualified for the Development Team the 2016 season with a myriad of excellent results. In 2017, Radamus qualified for the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, and grabbed a hat-trick of victories across super G, giant slalom, and combined disciplines. In doing so, Radamus became the first skier or snowboarder in history to win three individual gold medals.
Another member of the famous Skiing Cochrans, Ryan Cochran-Siegle's mother is 1972 Olympic slalom gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran, which also means he's cousins with a handful of other former U.S. Ski Teamers including Jimmy Cochran.
Ginnis had a big year in 2015, getting some experience on the World Cup circuit and earning himself a podium at Junior World Championships in Hafjell, Norway and capping the season by grabbing second place in slalom at U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf.
Home schooler Mark Engel has always been focused on skiing and it's showed in his rapid rise into the U.S. Ski Team fold. Most athletes enter the pipeline with the U.S. Development Team. After a few successful seasons with coach Guenther Birgmann, training at Treble Cone Race Academy (TCRA) in the summer and Sugar Bowl Academy in the winter, and winning back-to-back Western Region overall titles in 2010 and '11, Engel dove directly into the C Team ranks in 2011.
Aspen local Wiley Maple has the body for hockey and was originally headed in that direction when skiing provided him a slap-shot opportunity to ski with the U.S. Development Team. Though Maple has struggled with injuries, he is a consistent points scorer on the World Cup circuit.
Another member of the famous 'Skiing Cochran's’ lineage, Robby Kelley is the son of Steve and Lindy Kelley. Lindy was a 1976 Olympian and eight-year member of the U.S. Ski Team in the 70's. Older siblings Tim and Jessica have also been members of the U.S. Ski Team and have roots at the University of Vermont.
Sugarloaf's Racing History
Sugarloaf has racing in its DNA. The yearly right of spring known as The Sugarloaf Schuss was started in 1951 by Sugarloaf founder, Amos Winter. Twenty years later, Sugarloaf hosted the World Cup and welcomed 20,000 people from around the globe to the unorganized township of Wyman, Sugarloaf-Jerusalem Maine- population 85. This year will be the seventh time that Sugarloaf has hosted the US Alpine Championships; the resort previously hosted the races in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017. Sugarloaf maintains a strong relationship with the US Ski Team, and the recurring event has drawn large crowds to the resort's warm welcoming village and challenging slopes.