Kildow Starts 45th, Finishes 6th in Super G

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HAUS, Austria, Feb. 1, 2004 -- Teenager Lindsey Kildow held off the remnants of a cold and tore out of the 45th start spot Sunday to finish sixth in a World Cup super G where Carole Montillet of France and German Maria Riesch tied for the win.

Montillet, the Olympic downhill gold medalist and reigning World Cup SG champion, and Riesch - the 19-year-old who won a downhill Friday but crashed Saturday, were deadlocked with a time of 1:25.04. Super G world champion Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria was third (1:25.19).

Kildow, 19, who was fifth Jan. 17 in a downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, started fast and picked up speed through the middle before losing time at the bottom. She tied Melanie Suchet of France for sixth in a time of 1:25.48. The result made her the Winstar Skier of the Day, an honor given to the top skier from the back who breaks into the top 15.

"I've had a really bad cold — in bed all day Monday and Tuesday. It was like the flu, lots of sinus pressure, nose running, throat hurt, but then I got some antibiotics and it's gotten progressively better," Kildow said, one day after finishing 11th in a downhill on the Krummholz course.

Concentration pays off

"I wasn't happy with itand I'd had a few crashes in training, so I was kinda down," she said, referring to Saturday's race. "But after that I pulled myself back up, told myself 'You need to do well, need to focus in inspection and make it happen.'"

Having U.S. DH/SG Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser set the course, and then a course report from teammate Jonna Mendes, gave her confidence. "I had a good inspection and I told myself 'You know where you're going, relax, be aggressive and take it like another downhill. I didn't think too much about it. Jonna always makes me feel comfortable about the race and she told me 'It's no big deal — it's easier than you think, so be as aggressive as you can' and that really helped me," Kildow said.

"I guess I was leading all the way down and then I kinda wimped out on one turn at the bottom...but I'm really happy." She added, "Conditions were perfect. It wasn't super sunny so the conditions didn't change. The snow was so perfect because it was totally buffed from the downhills."

Looking for downhill/SG balance

One of her goals for the season, she continued, is to be balanced with downhill and SG, "but it hasn't come together for me in super G. I was kinda hoping for a top-30 but I skied well — I know I can ski well — and the more I do it, the more confidence I'll get."

Caroline Lalive was 20th and — on a day of ties (five ties among the top 30 finishers) — Libby Ludlow tied for 21st in 1:26.34, just .02 behind Lalive. Julia Mancuso was 31st with Jonna Mendes was 41st.

The women race again Feb. 7-8 with a giant slalom and slalom in Germany's Region Arber, in the Bavarian woods near the Czech border.