Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah) and Jacqueline Wiles (Aurora, Ore.) conquered the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain Friday to capture U.S. Championship downhill titles. Traditionally held in February, the premier speed titles were shifted to December to take advantage of the world-class facility at Copper, which is operated by the U.S. Ski Team until Dec. 15.
Goldberg proved to be the pace setter for the week after winning a pair of NorAm downhill races leading up to the championship event. Wiles danced with the top spot earlier in the week by taking third in each of the two warm up NorAm downhills before capitalizing during the big show.
"When we got to Copper Mountain in November, we had the best training in the world," Goldberg said. "We knew that because we were training alongside some of the fastest guys in the world. Being on this hill so much and being able to train with guys like Askel Lund Svindal and Marco Sullivan really gave me a lot of confidence. I was within a few tenths of them in training and then I was able to score my first World Cup points in Beaver Creek. It was huge for me to have that confidence and then also the experience of running so many training runs here at Copper. This is big and will definitely carry me into the rest of the season."
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) was second for the men followed by Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, N.Y.). In the women's race, Katie Ryan (Aspen) and Anna Marno (Steamboat Springs) went two-three.
The remaining U.S. titles - super G, giant slalom, slalom and combined - will be determined March 20-24 during the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley.