Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin absolutely crushed the competition Sunday in Jasna, Slovakia, winning her 18th career World Cup slalom and the 19th race of her career. Shiffrin’s winning time was 2.36 second ahead of Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener in second, and home-snow crowd favorite Veronika Velez Zuzulova was third.
Since her comeback from a left knee injury sustained in December, Shiffrin has won back-to-back slaloms. In Sunday’s first run, she won by 1.67 seconds, despite claiming that her timing was still a bit off due to her eight-week absence from competition.
“I just like to try to improve on what I did in the first run for the second run,” she said. “So if I win the first run, I want to win again in the second run. So today, just building on my lead was pretty great.”
Shiffrin has won four World Cup slalom events this season. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, who finished 10th Sunday – her lowest slalom result in more than two years – won the overall World Cup slalom title with just one race remaining at the World Cup Finals in St. Moritz, Switzerland in two weeks.
“Frida has been just as consistent as I have been, or even more consistent in the past three, four years,” Shiffrin said of the Swedish racer who won the World Cup slalom in Lienze, and has been on the podium six times this season. “She has walked away with however many second places, but you have to be really consistent just to get on the podium. But she deserves to win the globe.”
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) finished 24th Sunday. Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) did not finish the first run.
The victory was Shiffrin’s 19th career World Cup victory (18 slalom and one giant slalom – Soelden 2014) — the second most victories all-time by an American woman, breaking a tie with Tamara McKinney.
Shiffrin, who turns 21 next week, is scheduled to compete in Monday’s giant slalom, which was postponed Saturday due to high winds. Stiegler and Megan McJames (Park City, UT) are also scheduled to compete Monday.