Canadian Gagnon wins $20 bet and US championship slalom


Marie-Michele Gagnon victorious in the finish area. Susan Theis

Marie-Michele Gagnon victorious in the finish area . Susan Theis

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — When Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin missed a gate with the finish line in sight on the first run of slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships, the door was opened wide for her American teammate Resi Stiegler to duke it out with Canadian Marie-Michele “Mitch” Gagnon for the title. Stiegler led after first run, but Gagnon produced such a hard-charging second run that she was able to claim victory by the narrowest of margins, just one hundredth of a second, to keep the title in Canadian hands for one more year.

Marco Sullivan’s Canadian girlfriend Anna Goodman won the race last year, and this year Travis Ganong’s girlfriend claimed it along with a crisp $20 bill that both she and Stiegler noticed from the chairlift on the way up to second run. They decided the victor would take the money, and Stiegler was quick to pull the bill out and hand it over to Gagnon after crossing the finish line.

“Mitch and I are pretty good friends. We’ve had such a great couple years together so it’s kind of fun to have her here and obviously I’m not stoked that she beat me by a hundy but it’s pretty cool to have one of your best friends ahead of you,” said Stiegler. “We got off the chair at the top and we found $20, and we both were diving for it. We said, ‘Okay, whoever wins gets the $20, but they have to buy you a beer’ so I just get to have a couple more beers than she does.”

Gagnon will take her victory from Squaw Valley up to Whistler for the Canadian championships where she will contest the technical races next week.

“It’s kind of the story of my season so far this year: A solid okay not so fast first run and then a killing second run, but I really need to learn for the future for the World Cup to be able to lay one of those down in the first run as well,” remarked Gagnon. “Again there’s always a bit of doubt in the first run and I have to be able to put that away. But I am happy to be winning today, and it was an exciting race and with Resi.”

The top junior on the day was development team skier Lila Lapanja, the 2014 NorAm slalom title winner, who rounded out the podium in third. Lapanja is looking forward to competing against the likes of Gagnon and Stiegler next season on the World Cup tour.

“This is my best finish at U.S. nationals ever. I had a fourth at Winter Park two years ago and had a little redemption at Squaw here from last year, so I’m super happy with how I skied today. I put my whole heart on the hill,” said Lapanja. “There’s still two seconds I need to make up (on Gagnon and Stiegler) but I know exactly where those two seconds are, and I can’t wait to start training for next season.”

Lapanja’s teammate Foreste Peterson in fourth and Paula Moltzan in sixth rounded out the fastest skiers on the junior podium.

The crowd was disappointed not to see Shiffrin in the second run, but she spent the majority of the day signing autographs and chatting it up with her young fans in the finish area.

“I felt like I got going just a little too fast. In inspection I saw this section of the course and thought, ‘You can let it rip there, the finish is in sight.’ I just gave it a little bit too much and got out of balance,” said Shiffrin. “I’m bummed that I don’t get a second run, but I’m just trying to stay positive. I had a great season, and I’m glad with my GS win.”

 

RESULTS

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  6  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  49.53  50.08  1:39.61    8.00
 2  5  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA  49.20  50.42  1:39.62  +0.01  8.06
 3  7  539927 LAPANJA Lila 1994 USA  50.61  51.09  1:41.70  +2.09  21.01
 4  8  539678 PETERSON Foreste 1993 USA  50.95  51.61  1:42.56  +2.95  26.36
 5  2  537792 DUKE Hailey 1985 USA  50.94  51.69  1:42.63  +3.02  26.80
 6  3  539909 MOLTZAN Paula 1994 USA  51.18  51.68  1:42.86  +3.25  28.23
 7  1  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA  51.18  52.85  1:44.03  +4.42  35.51
 8  12  538855 FORD Julia 1990 USA  51.42  53.13  1:44.55  +4.94  38.75
 9  14  425889 MYKLEBUST Karoline Soevik 1991 NOR  52.46  52.75  1:45.21  +5.60  42.86
 10  13  185292 ROVE Kristiina 1990 FIN  53.02  52.84  1:45.86  +6.25  46.90
 11  21  6535086 GIBSON Libby 1994 USA  53.77  54.01  1:47.78  +8.17  58.85
 12  18  107217 KNOWLES Natalie 1992 CAN  53.81  54.16  1:47.97  +8.36  60.03
 13  24  6535773 O BRIEN Nina 1997 USA  55.58  52.92  1:48.50  +8.89  63.33
 14  33  6535791 WRIGHT Isabella 1997 USA  55.62  55.03  1:50.65  +11.04  76.72
 15  36  6535456 JOHNSON Hannah 1996 USA  56.37  54.44  1:50.81  +11.20  77.71
 16  44  539929 HUME Audrey 1994 USA  55.07  56.06  1:51.13  +11.52  79.70
 17  37  6535254 JOHNSON Madeline 1995 USA  56.02  55.22  1:51.24  +11.63  80.39
 18  47  6535153 BACHMEIER Mackenzie 1995 USA  56.23  55.58  1:51.81  +12.20  83.94
 19  19  539502 COTTRILL Sarah 1992 USA  55.77  56.08  1:51.85  +12.24  84.19
 20  39  6535907 ENGLISH Francesca 1997 USA  55.88  56.22  1:52.10  +12.49  85.74
 21  27  6535634 BROWNELL-PATTY Danielle 1996 USA  56.18  56.51  1:52.69  +13.08  89.41
 22  42  6535455 JOHNSON Breezy 1996 USA  58.05  55.81  1:53.86  +14.25  96.70
 23  41  6535169 CORDINGLEY Nicole 1994 USA  58.28  58.95  1:57.23  +17.62  117.67
 24  50  539933 PECH Brayton 1994 USA  58.76  58.79  1:57.55  +17.94  119.66
 25  51  6535807 CUTLER Haley 1997 USA  59.13  1:00.48  1:59.61  +20.00  132.49
 26  49  6535868 MURER Abigail 1997 USA  1:01.34  1:03.08  2:04.42  +24.81  162.42
 27  31  6535759 LEBBY Stephanie 1997 USA  1:10.42  56.48  2:06.90  +27.29  177.86
 28  17  538841 DUPRATT Jaime 1990 USA  53.71  1:22.39  2:16.10  +36.49  235.12
Disqualified 2nd run
   34  6535491 RYDER Sierra 1996 USA          
   23  6535478 O BRIEN Audrey 1996 USA          
Disqualified 1st run
   4  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA          
Did not start 2nd run
   10  425916 FAUSA Chloe Margrethe 1992 NOR          
Did not finish 2nd run
   38  6535469 MCCORMICK Erika 1996 USA          
   35  6535256 MUELLER-RISTINE Julia 1995 USA          
   32  6535765 MANGAN Patricia 1997 USA          
   28  6535467 MARZARIO Montana 1996 USA          
   22  6535485 REINHART Jessica 1996 USA          
   9  425914 TEFRE Elise-Woien 1992 NOR          
Did not finish 1st run
   48  539922 RYAN Kristie 1994 USA          
   46  6535494 SEDBERRY Chandler 1996 USA          
   45  225611 FITZGERALD Jordan 1996 GBR          
   43  6535882 DESROCHERS Rachael 1997 USA          
   40  6535590 HENEGAN Sydney 1996 USA          
   30  6535193 HUNSAKER Hannah 1995 USA          
   29  539651 GRAUER Taylor 1993 USA          
   26  6535461 KIDD Serina 1996 USA          
   25  6535446 GREINER Megan 1996 USA          
   20  539404 SAMUELS Lauren 1992 USA          
   16  539848 ALTRINGER Courtney 1993 USA          
   15  105649 RYLEY Kate 1989 CAN          
   11  539334 ROCKWELL Anne 1991 USA        
Remme and Pridy capture Canadian downhill titlesChodounsky wins US slalom title on postcard day for racing

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