Friedman, Mendes win downhill titles

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2004

GIRDWOOD - Bryon Friedman thought going early in the downhill at the U.S. Alpine Championships could be an advantage.

Put down a good run, he thought, and let the competition worry about beating it. The strategy was nearly flawless.

"I feel great. This was my goal all week - to save it all for race day," said Friedman, whose downhill run was nearly two seconds faster than anyone else Friday. "I probably skied the most aggressively I have all season today. I wanted the national title."

Friedman, a 23-year-old Dartmouth senior who opened the season on the U.S. "B" team, finished in 1 minute, 38.96 seconds, then stood at the base of Alyeska and watched as crowd favorites Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves failed to come close to toppling his time.

"It's good to come here and put it down and beat them - by two seconds, no less. I'm pretty fired up," Friedman said.

Jonna Mendes won the women's race Friday morning for her third national championship and first in a speed event.

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