The dominating American ski team concludes its season this week with the U.S. Alpine championships at Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Leading the charge a year before the Sochi Games will be World Championship gold medalists Ted Ligety of Park City, Utah, and Mikaela Shiffrin of Vail, Colo. Hometown star Julia Mancuso also hopes to add to her record 15 U.S. championships on the slopes where she learned to ski.
"My team is fast so I have to try to do my best so I can get some more national titles," Mancuso said in a statement.
The competition begins Wednesday with the men's giant slalom and ends Sunday with the women's slalom -- events where Ligety and Shiffrin shined this season. Ligety won six giant slalom World Cup races and the GS title. Shiffrin, 18, won the women's World Cup slalom title while bursting on the international scene.
The U.S. ski team had 33 podium finishes from 10 skiers and won 18 races in a season in which American star Lindsey Vonn has been limited because of injury and illness. Vonn is recovering from right knee surgery after a Feb. 5 crash that ended her season.
Also competing at Squaw Valley are Berkeley's Keith Moffat and Foreste Peterson, Tahoe's Bryce Bennett, Nick Daniels, Mark Engel, Travis Ganong and Marco Sullivan and Mammoth Lake's Stacey Cook.
"I get to sleep in my own bed for the first time all season, ski the best mountain in the world, get to be with all my friends," Ganong said. "It's the first time I've raced at Squaw probably since I was a Mighty Mite" -- Squaw's youth development program.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond. ___