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Ted Ligety and Sarah Schleper win national championship slalom titles

Ted Ligety and Sarah Schleper win national championship slalom titles{mosimage}Ted Ligety and Sarah Schleper won their respective slalom races Sunday at the U.S. Alpine National Championships in Mammoth Mountain, California. The two western-state skiers fought through heavy, driving snow and wind.

“I think he’s one of the best slalom skiers in the world,” said James Cochran, a friend and teammate of Ligety. Cochran, who won the title last season, finished second this year, almost two full seconds behind Ligety.

Schleper edged out Kristina Koznick to take her third slalom championship title. “I didn’t think they’d pull it off, but they did,” said Schleper, who was in third after the first run. “I just think naturally I have good speed in slalom and I always have, and that’s why I do well even in these rougher conditions.”

Ligety also won the combined event, just edging Steve Nyman (both are from Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and former winners of the Sprint/Ski Racing Junior of the Year award). The combined trophy was an accumulation of downhill and slalom times. The winner of the women’s combined title was Julia Mancuso.

The top juniors of the day were Andrew Weibrecht and Katie Hitchcock.

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