In a race of attrition that saw several of the contenders fly off into the trees, Kristin Krone was the ultimate survivor in Crested Butte, Colo.
As a snowstorm battered the U.S. Alpine Ski Championships on Sunday, Krone negotiated a treacherous, bumpy super-giant slalom course in 1 minute, 39.03 seconds to claim her first national title. There figure to be more to follow.Krone, 20, of Truckee, Calif., is among the more promising young U.S. skiers. In three events here, she has finished first, fourth and 10th and - with her strongest event to come, the downhill - she has the inside track on the combined title.
Krone flashed across 44-hundredths of a second ahead of Hilary Lindh 19, of Juneau, Alaska and Rowmark Ski Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Lindh was second in 1:39.47, and Kristi Terzian of Salt Lake City took third in 1:40.37.
Another skier with vast potential, 19-year-old Tommy Moe of Palmer, Alaska, claimed the men's super-G title Sunday. Moe, also a downhill specialist, has finished first, third and 19th in his three races so far, and likewise is in the driver's seat for the combined.
Bill Johnson of Troutdale, Ore., the 1984 Olympic downhill gold medalist who has battled back and knee injuries since then, was sixth in 1:33.00.
***** Trond Arne Bredesen of Norway held off late surges by Klaus Sulzenbacher of Austria and Fabrice Guy of France in a 15-kilometer cross-country ski race Sunday in Lake Placid, N.Y., to capture the Subaru Nordic Combined International.
The win gives Bredesen the lead in the World Cup standings with one event remaining.
****** In Warren, Vt., Jorgen Sundqvist of Sweden captured the U.S. Pro Ski Tour title Sunday, holding off American Phil Mahre by advancing to the second round of the slalom event at Sugarbush Ski Resort.
Mahre, an Olympic gold and silver medalist and three-time world cup champion, entered Sunday's event 30 points behind.
To capture the championship, Mahre had to win the slalom and Sundqvist had to go out in the first round.
Mahre finished third and Sundqvist placed fourth in Sunday's races.