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Vonn, Shiffrin lead pack of U.S. Ski Team stars set to compete at U.S. Alpine Championships

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, ME - On the heels of a big win in France earlier this week, Lindsey Vonn will set her sights on Maine and another national title at the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf, March 25-29, 2015.

Vonn, the most decorated female ski racer in history, will be accompanied by some of the biggest names in U.S. alpine ski racing, including fellow Olympic-Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin and World Cup athletes Laurenne Ross, Stacey Cook, Andrew Weibrecht, Steve Nyman and Tim Jitloff.  

True to form at a national championship event, the A-Team stars will be challenged by up-and-coming athletes looking to advance their position on the U.S. Ski Team, including Sugarloaf hometown-hero Sam Morse.  

The championships give developing skiers a chance to measure themselves against U.S. Ski Team athletes in the quest for national titles in super-G, giant slalom and slalom. The U.S. Downhill Champion will be determined the week prior to US Alpine Championships during the NorAm Speed Finals.  

This year marks the fifth time that Sugarloaf has hosted the US Alpine Championships; the resort previously hosted the races in 1996, 1997, 2006, and 2008.  

"New England skiers don't often have the opportunity to experience races of this caliber in-person," Sugarloaf General Manager John Diller said. "We're the lucky ones. Sugarloaf has a proud tradition of hosting some of the world's premier ski racing events, and we're honored to have the U.S. Alpine Championships return this spring."  

Sugarloaf's proud racing heritage stems from years of hosting world-class competitions; the mountain has staged many Junior Olympics and Eastern Cup (development level) events. In 1971, Sugarloaf held men's and women's World Cup races and also hosted the first official FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in 1984.  

Since the very beginning, the mountain has been the East Coast's premier proving ground for the world's best ski and snowboard racers cut their teeth at Sugarloaf and on Narrow Gauge. Carrabassett Valley Academy, an award-winning USSA club located near Sugarloaf, is one of the nation's top snow sport academies and has produced world class athletes and medal-winning Olympians in both skiing and snowboarding. The roster includes Morse, Bode Miller, Emily Cook, Kristen Clark, Alex Tuttle, and Seth Wescott, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner.  

The Sugarloaf community will formally welcome the nation's best skiers to the resort on Thursday, March 26, with Opening Ceremonies that will include a parade of athletes, speeches by notable members of the Sugarloaf and U.S. Ski Team communities, as well as a firework display presented by the Bank of Maine and Atlas Pyro.  

Following the Opening Ceremonies, guests are invited to meet the athletes during a special autograph session in the Base Lodge. Those in attendance will receive a commemorative U.S. Alpine Championships poster that can be used to collect signatures.   

For additional information on the US Ski Team and the US Alpine Championships, please visit www.usskiteam.com or www.sugarloaf.com/usalpine.  

For additional information on Sugarloaf, please visit www.sugarloaf.com.  

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Media Contact:

Noelle Tuttle, Sugarloaf Communications Manager, 207.237.6989, ntuttle@sugarloaf.com

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About Sugarloaf - Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME, Sugarloaf is largest ski area in the East, and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East, as well as the number one golf course in Maine, according to Golf Digest. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. Follow: www.sugarloaf.com, www.facebook.com/sugarloaf, and http://twitter.com/sugarloafmaine