Shiffrin clinches slalom title before 1st run at Squaw |

Shiffrin clinches slalom title before 1st run at Squaw

Mikaela Shiffrin competes during the first run in the women's World Cup slalom competition Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Olympic Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Scott Sady)
AP photo

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin clinched her fourth slalom title in five seasons before she even took her first run at the World Cup race Saturday in Squaw Valley.

The American standout wrapped up the discipline crown when her closest competitor, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia, wiped out right before Shiffrin’s run. Shiffrin is in second place heading into the afternoon slalom run, 0.02 seconds behind Swiss skier Wendy Holdener’s top time of 47.44 seconds.

Shiffrin, who turns 22 on Monday, was steady in her opening run a day after winning a giant slalom race.

She’s closing in on joining Phil Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn as the only Americans to win the overall crown. Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia is 278 points behind Shiffrin and didn’t race Saturday.

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