And it has everything to do with location. 

Of the 11 previous U.S. Championships Weibrecht, 29, has been part of, Sugarloaf has produced his best showings. For the third time in his career, the national event heads back to the Carrabassett Valley mountain.

“I’m very excited to head back to Sugarloaf,” Weibrecht said. “I haven’t been there since 2008 and it is a place that I spent a lot of time racing at growing up.  I love racing in the East Coast of the U.S. In general, the conditions are very familiar to me and I really enjoy it.  The track at Sugarloaf is a lot of fun and was actually the first FIS super-G that I ever competed in, so there are a lot of fond memories there.”

The Lake Placid, N.Y., native and Dartmouth alum’s first appearance at Sugarloaf as a member of the U.S. Alpine A team came in 2006 when he finished fifth in the super-G, seventh in the giant slalom and 19th in the downhill. He returned two years later and posted a second-place finish in the downhill and a fourth-place finish in both the super-G and giant slalom. His 2008 showing is his best at the national event. 

When taking both Sugarloaf results out of the equation, Weibrecht has averaged a 14th-place finish in the downhill, a 10th-place finish in the super-G and an 18th-place finish in the giant slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships.

Weibrecht is looking to bounce back after back-to-back rough outings at the national event in Squaw Valley, Calif. He posted a DNF in the giant slalom in 2013 and 2014 and didn’t finish the super-G in 2013, as well. 


Bouncing back is something Weibrecht’s had to do before. His 2011 season was cut short due to injuries. He had shoulder surgery in the spring of 2010 before injuring his other shoulder during slalom training in late December. He skied in six events prior to his December injury. He was forced to miss the World Championships for the first time in his career. Weibrecht’s had four surgeries from spring 2010-spring 2013. 

“I think that this had a very huge effect on me in many ways,” Weibrecht said. “Going through that cycle of injury really taught me a lot about what I’m capable and willing to endure, while at the same time showing me that there are no guarantees.  This was a very unique experience and despite being very tough I think it taught me a lot and really put into perspective the better times.

Despite two shoulder surgeries to end 2010, the calendar year was still a successful one. He won a bronze medal in the super-G at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, four years after debuting on the World Cup circuit. 

Less than two years removed from his last surgery and Weibrecht’s having his best season on the slopes. The ultimate confidence booster came in February 2014 when he took home the silver medal in the super-G at the Sochi Olympics. He bested teammate Bode Miller, who finished tied for third. 

Winning the silver medal came at the best possible moment for Weibrecht, who, at the time, began questioning himself and his skiing abilities. 

“I was coming off a whole bunch of injuries going into the Sochi games and, with all this, had some doubts about my ability to move forward with the sport,” Weibrecht said. “Just making the Sochi games was a huge accomplishment for me and then being able to make the result that I had was pretty mind-blowing. Entering the Sochi games I had thought of the possibility of retirement and in many ways that result may have ultimately changed a lot of things in my life. 


A year later he posted both his best downhill and super-G performances at the 2015 World Championships at Beaver Creek in Vail, Colo. After finishing 22nd in the downhill in 2013, Weibrecht placed ninth at Beaver Creek. He also grabbed a top-20 finish in the super-G after not placing in 2013. 

Weibrecht finished this year’s World Cup season with eight top-10 finishes — four downhill, three Super-G and one giant slalom. He ended the year in 12th in the super-G points standings with 167. Weibrecht was two points out of a 10th-place finish as Switzerland’s Carlo Janka (168) and France’s Alexis Pinturault (169) placed ahead of him. His previous top finish in the Super-G standings was last year when he came in 22nd. 

“I think that there are several factors in play with my consistency and success this year,” Weibrecht said. “I was relatively healthy throughout the whole season, which is something that I could not claim since 2010. Furthermore, I am definitely more experienced and I feel like I have finally come to a place where I can move forward and grow with my ski racing especially after such a positive season.”

Weibrecht is in his 11th season with the U.S. Alpine ski team. He’s skied alongside Olympic medalists Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin to name a few. Weibrecht said that the success of one individual on the team is felt by everyone else and it drives him to work harder each day. 

“The cliche ‘success breeds success’ comes to mind,” Weibrecht said. “I think that our team has been very positively enhanced with the culture of success.  Every time a medal is won or a podium is hit it moves everybody forward in a profound way. It has been a very incredible experience to be a part of the ‘golden era’ of USA ski racing and I believe that my career has been bolstered by the communal success of the team in general.”


Sun Journal coverage of the U.S. Alpine Championship includes:

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