Kristina Koznick's season of independence was also a season of trial. She left the U.S. Ski Team last summer after falling in love with a coach, then spent $125,000 from savings and personal fund-raising to race independently on the World Cup circuit.
Erik Schlopy was the first skier on a snowy slalom course. That meant everybody else was racing for second place. Schlopy won the men's slalom Wednesday at U.S. Alpine nationals, beating runner-up Casey Puckett by more than one second.
Vermont native Hannah Kearney grabbed her second U.S. title of the weekend at Killington Resort during the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge dual moguls event, which wrapped the 2006 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships.