Tim Jitloff defends giant slalom title at nationals

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) No matter the course or on which side of the coast, Tim Jitloff finds a way to rule the giant slalom at nationals.

The 30-year-old used a go-for-broke second run Friday to win his third straight GS race at the U.S. Alpine Championships. He finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 16.26 seconds, edging Tommy Ford, the leader after the first run, by 0.42 seconds. Nick Cohee was third.

Jitloff has now won five national GS races in his career, including the last two held in Squaw Valley, California, before the competition relocated to the East Coast this season. Jitloff's first national title was here, at Maine's Sugarloaf resort, in 2008. He said he reflected on that before a swift final run that helped him erase Ford's slim lead and on to another crown.

''But then it reminded me I'm also getting quite old,'' said Jitloff, who's from Reno, Nevada.

The World Cup veteran ended the streak of teenagers winning events at these U.S. championships. Nina O'Brien, 17, captured the giant slalom title Thursday and 19-year-old Drew Duffy won the men's super-G crown Wednesday.

''It was fun,'' said Jitloff, who finished ninth in the giant slalom at the world championships last month in Beaver Creek, Colorado. ''We're all really tired. But anytime you come back and see all the kids who want to be doing what you're doing, it's huge. It's good to be here.''

Jitloff didn't exactly end the World Cup season the way he intended, finishing 19th in France last week and logging a ''DNF'' - did not finish - during a race two weeks ago in Slovenia. This helped soothe those memories heading into the offseason.

''It's a good way to go,'' Jitloff said. ''If I can end the year on a win and a national title, that's always awesome. It's something to be proud of - always.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.