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Vermont high school student Mikaela Shiffrin wins national slalom title

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If the projections for her ski career are true, someday Mikaela Shiffrin might follow in her hero Lindsay Vonn's footsteps and win Olympic gold.

Until then, the 16-year-old Burke Mountain Academy student and Lyme, N.H. native is happy basking in the glory she experienced at the end of her remarkable 2010-11 ski season.

On March 11 - two days before her 16th birthday - Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.

"My goal, when I was five, was to be the youngest to ski in a World Cup and I was somewhat near to that," said Shiffrin in a U.S. Ski Association press release. "That was a really good birthday present."

On April 2, Shiffrin was awarded the Ski Racing Magazine Junior of the Year award.

Then, on April 3, she won the women's slalom at the 2011 Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships in snowy Winter Park, Colo.

"I guess anything is possible," said Shiffrin. "I was sure hoping for it and I guess luck came through today. This is the best end of the season ever."

Shiffrin defeated 32-year-old Sarah Schleper, who earned the combined title with the fastest paired times in super G and slalom. Resi Stiegler was third, finishing in the same spot that her younger brother Seppi finished in the men's slalom.

"It does feel good," said Shiffrin. "Sarah and Resi have been so supportive of me. Going over to Europe they were so nice. Beating them today was a crazy feeling for me, but the better part of it was that they were still supportive of it. Just props to them – thank you.

"To celebrate, I think I am going to do homework - Algebra 2 and maybe some history," said Shiffrin, who was profiled by the Denver Post prior to the event.




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