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17 Year-old Nina O’Brien earns national title in Giant Slalom at Sugarloaf

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, ME - Under unexpectedly clear skies, seventeen year-old Nina O'Brien, of the U.S. Ski Team's FIS National Training Group (NTG), earned her first national title in today's U.S. Alpine Championship Giant Slalom race at Sugarloaf.  

U.S. teammates, Paula Moltzan of Lakeville, MN and Megan McJames of Park City, UT clenched the two remaining podium spots, with silver and bronze finishes respectively. 

O'Brien claimed an early lead after a first run time of 1:12.18, landing her atop the leader board. Running thirtieth in the second run, a fifth-best time of 1:10.12 helped solidify her first national title. 

As the country's most prestigious domestic alpine ski racing event, the US Alpine Championships give up-and-coming athletes, like O'brien and yesterday's men's super-G champion, Drew Duffy a chance to face off against A-Team stars. Today, O'Brien followed in the tracks of the most decorated female athlete is alpine racing history, Lindsey Vonn, who foreran the race.

This week's national championship races are being held on the legendary Narrow Gauge trail. 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.

The action continues tomorrow with the men's giant slalom race, set to begin at 9:30am, as well as the Opening Ceremonies that were previously scheduled for today.

For a complete schedule of the 2015 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, please visit www.sugarloaf.com/usalpine

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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.