Hilary Lindh captured her second national downhill title Friday, beating Pam Fletcher to capture the Subaru U.S. Alpine Championships.
Lindh, a 19-year-old from Juneau, Alaska, and a graduate of Salt Lake's Rowmark Ski Academy, has been the top downhiller on the U.S. Ski Team all year on the World Cup circuit. Fletcher has claimed the national title for the past two years, while Lindh ran second, never quite matching her 1986 performance.Utah's Kristi Terzian finished just sixth in the downhill, but that combined with a third in the giant slalom and a fourth in the slalom helped her capture second place overall behind Kristin Krone.
It was only the second time this season that the 21-year-old Terzian has competed in the downhill. Krone finished third in the downhill, giving her enough points to knock Terzian to second.
The race had been postponed Thursday because warm temperatures made the course soft and dangerous. Eleven skiers left the starting gate and only six finished.
Fletcher, who announced her retirement from the U.S. Ski Team two weeks ago, graciously conceded defeat.
"I came here to win, and I skied well today, but Hilary deserves it. It's good for her and her confidence," said Fletcher, a 26-year-old from Acton, Mass.
"I've definitely had my fair share of ups and downs. I'm happy because it's over, and I'm out of it. I wish I could have been in there for the win, and I skied 110 percent, but it's okay. It's time for me to set down and some of the young ones step in and get results," she said.
The pace on the 1,903-meter-long course was set early by Krone, of Truckee, Calif., who had claimed the national super giant slalom title on Sunday. Krone's time of 1:22.73 was more than 21/2 seconds faster than any other contender.
Then Fletcher blistered down the hill in 1:21.82 and took over the lead. Lindh then shaved 0.21 of a second off Fletcher's time.
"It wasn't my best run all week - my best run was during Wednesday's training, Lindh said.
"But it was better than yesterday when I felt like I had let myself down with my skiing. I had kind of psyched myself out a little bit too much for the race."