Sullivan Takes Top U.S. Spot in Downhill

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Snowbasin, Utah Feb. 10, 2002 (USSA)--Young Marco Sullivan (Tahoe City, Calif.) out-skied veteran teammate Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, Calif.) to place ninth in the men's downhill with a time of 1:40.37.

"I wasn't nervous or scared about coming out here and laying it all on the line and showing people what I can do," the 21-year-old said. "Nobody expected me to finish as high as I did, so I'm thrilled with my result."

Austrian Fritz Strobl won the gold with a time of 1:39.13. Teammate Stephan Eberharter took the bronze and Norway's Lasse Kjus won silver.

Sullivan's ninth place finish puts him eighth among the top U.S. finishes in Olympic history.

Rahlves, who many thought would challenge the Austrians, placed 16th out of the 55 athletes with a time of 1:40.84. Hitting a jump late, he was in the air for nearly 175 feet, adding precious hundredths of seconds to his time.

Rahlves still has his premiere event, the Super-G, to look forward to on February 16. As the reigning World Champion in this event, the 28 year-old will be looking for a better performance.

Fellow U.S. athletes Jakub Fiala (Frisco, Colo.) finished in 27th place and Scott Macartney (Redmond, Wash.) took 29th.

The U.S. men's alpine team will be back on the slopes on February 13 for the Combined.