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Sugarloaf To Host 2019 U.S. Alpine Speed Championships

Sam-Morse-Sugarloaf-US-Ski--Snowboard Local Sugarloaf, Maine, hero Sam Morse competes in the super-G at U.S. Alpine Championships hosted by Sugarloaf in 2017. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard/Reese Brown)

Sugarloaf, Maine, is no stranger to playing host to U.S. Alpine Championships, but in 2019 the resort will look forward to hosting the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships. From March 16-21, 2019, the best alpine skiers in the nation will ski down Narrow Gauge in downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.

Domestic events such as the U.S. Alpine Championships are a vital part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development program and key to the success of “Project 26," the organization’s long-term plan to produce the Best In The World in alpine ski racing. The U.S. Alpine Championships also enable top club athletes from regional programs around the United States to see how they stack up competitively against U.S. Ski Team veterans from the FIS Ski World Cup Tour. As an International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned event, the U.S. Alpine Championships are also open to foreign athletes.

Keep an eye out for Nina O'Brien, who grabbed the hat trick victories at Sun Valley in 2018. (Oliver Guy)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced in August that Waterville Valley will host the U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, including slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom March 23-26, 2019. Sugarloaf is thrilled to bring elite-level ski racing action back to their mountain, home to U.S. Ski Team member and Sugarloaf-sponsored athlete Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, Maine).

Passionate fans fill the Sugarloaf base area to see the nation's fastest skiers. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard/Reese Brown)

Racing will take place on Sugarloaf’s legendary Narrow Gauge trail, which was also the site of a 1971 World Cup event. It will be the seventh time Sugarloaf has played host to the championships following successful events in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017, but this will be the first official “U.S. Alpine Speed Championships” with downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.

“Sugarloaf has always been an excellent resort partner with a challenging, high-caliber track,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “As I’ve said before, the east boasts a high percentage of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard club membership base, and therefore the fans are wildly passionate about the sport. We look forward to heading to Sugarloaf in March 2019 for the first official U.S. Alpine Speed Championships.”

Local hero Sam Morse stands on top of the junior podium at 2017  U. S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf. (U. S. Ski & Snowboard/Reese Brown)

Sugarloaf is equally looking forward to once again host the event. “We couldn’t be prouder to host the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships at Sugarloaf,” said Sugarloaf Director of Marketing Ethan Austin. “As the only homologated downhill course in the east, Sugarloaf has a long history as a proving ground for the world’s fastest skiers. We’re excited to see the nation’s best test themselves on the world famous Narrow Gauge once again.”

Sugarloaf, along with Carrabassett Valley Academy, has long been a hotbed of ski racing and the development home of stars like Olympic champion Bode Miller and World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark. Sugarloaf’s proud racing heritage stems from years of hosting world-class competitions. The mountain has staged many Junior Olympics and Eastern Cup (development level) events. In 1971, Sugarloaf held men’s and women’s World Cup races and also hosted the first official FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in 1984.

U. S. Ski Team athletes sign autographs for fans at Sugarloaf 2017 Alpine Nationals. (U. S. Ski & Snowboard/Reese Brown)

Much like the 2015 through 2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States. That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.

Event Schedule

March 16     Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine

March 17     Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine

March 18     Downhill (NorAm Cup Finals) - Sugarloaf, Maine

March 19     Downhill (National Championships) - Sugarloaf - Maine

March 20     Alpine Combined (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine

March 21     Super-G (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine

March 23     Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.

March 24    Parallel Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.

March 25    Women’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.

March 26    Men’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.

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