Mikaela Shiffrin notched her 30th career World Cup win, and 10th this season, taking a giant slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif., and moving closer to her first World Cup overall title on Friday.
Shiffrin, who turns 22 on Monday, prevailed by .07 of a second after two runs in Squaw Valley, which is hosting its first World Cup races since 1969. Italian Federica Brignone was second, followed by world giant slalom champion Tessa Worley of France.
Shiffrin, who led by two tenths over Worley after the first run, had a tumultuous second run. She moved from .99 ahead of Brignone after the first run to 1.14 ahead at the first split of the second run. Near the bottom, she trailed by .03 before squeaking out the win.
The normally understated Shiffrin celebrated by pumping her first and tossing a ski pole, inciting the crowd.
“Because I’m in the U.S.,” Shiffrin said in a finish-area interview. “I’m in the U.S.A.! Ah!”
Shiffrin added another 100 points to her World Cup overall lead. Her closest challenger, Slovenian Ilka Stuhec, crashed in her first run.
Shiffrin now leads the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, by 278 points with five races left this season.
She will almost surely clinch the crown next week at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., becoming the fifth American champion after Phil Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn.
Shiffrin, now the second American after Vonn to win 10 times in one season, can become the youngest World Cup overall champion since Croatian Janica Kostelic in 2003.
Shiffrin is the favorite in Saturday’s slalom in Squaw Valley, live on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app starting at 1 p.m. ET.
Shiffrin reached 30 World Cup wins in her 102nd World Cup start. Vonn, the women’s record holder with 77 World Cup wins, reached 30 wins at age 25.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nzaccardi