Kildow Gets First Podium, Clark Takes Fifth in Cortina DH-2

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Kildow 1 18 04

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy Jan. 18, 2004 (USSA)--Teenager Lindsey Kildow (Burnsville, CO), looking to duplicate her success of 24 hours earlier, nailed the Cortina downhill course again Sunday for the first podium of her career, finishing third in a World Cup downhill, .01 out of second. Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) was fifth and moved over the 400-point mark as five U.S. skiers broke into the top 30.

Outdoor Life Network has television coverage all season with same-day coverage Saturday nights at 7 p.m. ET and rebroadcasts Sunday at 5 p.m. ET and Thursday at 10 p.m. ET. Online viewing of Kildow's podium performance is available at alpinerace.com.

Referring to Saturday's downhill where she was fifth, Kildow said, "I definitely carried some confidence from (Saturday). I tried to ski relaxed again and I cleaned up two turns where I'd made mistakes and got out into some soft snow, and that was it. I definitely nailed 'em today."

Montillet's third downhill victory of the season came in 1:16.27 with World Cup leader Renate Goetschl of Austria second in 1:16.50 and Kildow finishing in 1:16.51. Clark's time was 1:16.90. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was 16th with Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) 27th and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) 30th.

"My skis were definitely fast—Rossignol rockets...Montillet's on Rossi, too," Kildow said.

Kildow calls for more in Cortina

"It was pretty much the same weather for everybody with snow falling and flat light, pretty much like (Saturday)," she said. "It's a nice course. We need more races in Cortina, I think."

Kildow, 19, who collected her first top-15 earlier this season in Lake Louise, Alberta, said one problem has been training well but getting tense in races. In Cortina, she focused on specific elements in her racing and tried to keep other distractions away.

"I was trying to be more relaxed and not think about it - just cleanup those two turns and be more aggressive," she said. "I wanted to be smooth with my arc and work on those two turns where I'd gone a little straight."

She added, "I definitely carried some confidence (from her fifth-place result). It proved to me I can do it. If I'm relaxed, I can be fast enough, so I just have to trust myself more."

New situation for Clark

It's not very often Clark is fifth and sixth in consecutive speed races—and is second American each time.

"Yeah, but it's awesome to have Lindsey on the podium and still be part of it. She did so well," Clark said. "This was a nice weekend. It was fun."

Clark, a Carrabassett Valley Academy grad and two-time Olympian who now has preferred-start status because of her 400-plus points if she's not in a top seed in an event, skied 26th (after running 10th Saturday) and said, "(Saturday) it was definitely a little more snow for beginning racers and then lightened up a bit at the end; today, I think it was pretty consistent."

Organizers lowered the start before each downhill, deleting a section where racers could have run into erratic winds and in-and-out fog. "I skied solid; I've got to look at video to see where I can make-up time," Clark said, "but I felt I skied better than I did the previous day, eliminating a few little mistakes I'd had."

Acrobatic show by Mancuso

"It was such a tight race and Lindsey did a super job to back-up her fifth from (Saturday)," said U.S. Head Coach Patrick Riml. "Goetschl and Lindsey were tied at the last split and Goetschl made up that hundredth to the finish...but, obviously, Lindsey skied so well again.

"Clarky did a good job, too—such solid skiing...the weather was a little worse than the early skiers but Kirsten was solid again.

"Julia was wicked fast but she crossed her right ski over her left at the bottom and skied for 15 or 20 meters on one ski—I don't know how she did it and stayed up," he said.

After four days of racingg in five days, the women head next to Maribor, Slovenia, for a giant slalom and slalom Jan. 24-25. The U.S. women speed skiers will train in Hintertux, Austria, during the week before moving on to Haus for two downhills and a super G.