Fiala fourth, Friedman first
GIRDWOOD, Alaska – Summit County’s Jake Fiala just missed the podium Friday during the Chevrolet U.S. Alpine Championships by placing fourth in the downhill.
World Cup rookie Bryon Friedman, prepping for his final round of classes at Dartmouth College, took the rest of the field to school as he won his first national title, finishing nearly two seconds ahead in capturing the men’s downhill on Day One of the .
Friedman, third Thursday in a prechampionships downhill won by Daron Rahlves, covered the 2.7K Bowl/Gelende racing trail at Alyeska Resort in 1 minute, 38.96 seconds.
The silver medalist was Jeremy Transue, whose time was 1:40.85, with Rahlves claiming the bronze medal in 1:40.94. Fiala finished just behind Rahlves, and had the same time.
Bode Miller, who just arrived from Europe, foreran the women’s downhill so he would be eligible to race in the downhill and finished 10th.
On a sun-bathed day with temperatures in the mid-20s, Friedman capped the best season of his career.
He had said the night before the race he was relaxed and looking to get his first U.S. championships before heading back for his final term; classes begin March 29 at Dartmouth.
“This was my goal all week – to save it for Race Day. I brought everything I had,” Friedman said. “I probably skied the most aggressively of my whole season. I wanted the national title.”
The men’s schedule continues Saturday with super-G before turning to tech events with slalom Sunday and giant slalom Monday.
GIRDWOOD, Alaska – Two-time Olympian Jonna Mendes won the first speed event title of her career Friday, capturing the downhill that opened the Chevrolet U.S. Alpine Championships at Alyeska Resort by nearly a full second.
Defending champion Julia Mancuso was silver medalist and Libby Ludlow took the bronze.
A day after winning the pre-championships FIS downhill, Mendes overpowered the bottom of the 2.7K Bowl/Gelende course.
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