CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Many of the skiers that will be on hand for the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf this week are familiar with the mountain and the Narrow Gauge trail on which they’ll compete. Some, like Sam Morse and other Carrabassett Valley Academy students and alumni, call Sugarloaf home. Some, like the handful of Colby College ski team members competing this week, train at Sugarloaf all winter. Others, like Tim Jitloff and Stacey Cook, have enjoyed success skiing Narrow Gauge in the past.

The competition kicks off Saturday morning with the women’s super G at 9:45, followed by the men’s super G at 12:15 p.m. On Sunday, men’s and women’s slalom racing will take place. Monday will be the women’s giant slalom, and the championships will conclude on Tuesday with the men’s giant slalom race.

Jitloff has seven giant slalom national titles, including two at Sugarloaf, in 2008 and 2015. Jitloff has won the last four giant slalom national championships, and competed for Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

Like Jitloff, Cook warmed up for the U.S. championships by competing in NorAm Cup super G races at Sugarloaf on Thursday, placing first and second, respectively. Cook won the super G and downhill national titles at Sugarloaf in 2008. Cook placed 16th in a World Cup downhill race at Aspen on March 15.

Carrabassett Valley native Morse, 20, grew up skiing Sugarloaf. On March 8, Morse won the downhill title at the world junior championships in Sweden. Last week, on March 15, Morse made his World Cup debut, finishing in 21st place in the downhill at Aspen, Colorado.

Six Colby College skiers qualified for the championships, led by All-American Mardi Haskell. A senior, Haskell earned her fourth All-American status with a 10th-place finish in the giant slalom at the NCAA championships earlier this month. Haskell placed 14th in the slalom at the NCAA championships. Other Mules expected to compete at Sugarloaf this week are Jessica Reinhart, Sandra Schoepke, Lexi Haus, Michael Boardman and Max Richard. Boardman placed 14th in the men’s giant slalom at the NCAA championships.

Among the other top skiers set to compete are Travis Ganong, who is currently the highest ranked American male in the World Cup overall standings, at 26th. Laurenne Ross has three top-six finishes in her last four World Cup starts. Resi Steiger, Leanne Smith, Drew Duffy and David Chodounsky also will compete.

Current Carrabassett Valley Academy students Sam Conzelman, Emma Kearing and Rylee McCormack qualified for the U.S. championships.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who won the World Cup overall title last weekend, will not be competing. In the 2015 championships at Sugarloaf, Shiffrin dominated the slalom, taking first place by more than four seconds.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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