Austrians Sweep Women's DH

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St. Anton, Austria, Feb. 6, 2001--Austria got its first gold medal of the 2001 World Championships Tuesday as MichaelaDorfmeister led a 1-2-3 Austrian sweep in the women's downhill. Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) had the top U.S. result,finishing 12th.

ESPN will broadcast coverage of the women's downhill today at 1:30 p.m. EST with a highlights package of the men'scombined, which also ran Tuesday with Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway collecting his third consecutive gold medal in a WorldChampionships combined.

Dorfmeister gained crucial time in the last pitch and won with a time of 1:36.20. Renate Goetschl - the defending Worlds DHchampion and World Cup champion, who had fallen in super G and skied off-course in the combined event - took the silvermedal in 1:36.34 and Selina Heregger was bronze medalist in 1:36.37.

Clark, starting 30th, found a choppy course that cost her time on the bottom after she led through the first two intermediates.Her final time was 1:37.88. "No. 30 was probably not the best number to have today," she said gamely in the finish.

"It was definitely a little bit difficult," she went on. "I charged as much as I could, but it was really hard snow and bumpy from allthe work they've been doing. I was a little nervous at the start, but I skied the top well and I tried to keep charging."

Megan Gerety (Anchorage, AK) was 17th in 1:38.76 and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) was 20th with a time of 1:38.81.

"We knew were going to have a hard time with the start numbers Gerety - 8, Mendes - 18, Lalive - 24, and Clark - 30," saidHead DH/SG Coach Jim Tracy. "It wasn't as buffed out a course as we had in training. Basically, it was a new course we hadtoday and the snow wasn't very good."

The next women's race is the slalom, which will be run Wednesday night. The schedule concludesFriday with giant slalomFriday.

2001 WORLD ALPINE SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS

St. Anton, AUT - Feb. 6

Women's Downhill

1. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria, 1:36.20
2. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:36.34
3. Selina Heregger, Austria, 1:36.37
4, Corinne Rey Bellet, Switzerland, 1:36.90
5. Isolde Kostner, Italy, 1:37.00

12. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, ME, 1:37.88
17. Megan Gerety, Anchorage, AK, 1:38.76
20. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, CA, 1:38.81

Did not finish: Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, CO