Mendes Hot in Lake Louise Training

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Lake Louise, Alberta, Nov. 29, 2000--U.S. women, who have had one of their best sets of training as a group this week, finished preparationsWednesday for the first World Cup downhill of the season with a couple more top-10 finishes in the last training run.

The first two downhills are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday at Lake Louise Ski Area, followed by a super G Saturday before thewomen's troupe heads back to Europe. They'll compete over a 2.7-km course that is rock hard, a machine-made route that the men raced onlast weekend.

Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA), who collected her first World Cup points at Lake Louise when she was 26th in a 1998 super G, tore throughthe three training runs and looked like the racer who led American results Saturday by finishing 13th in a super G at the Chevy Truck AspenWinternational in Colorado. She was seventh and fifth Tuesday in two runs, and tied for third Wednesday in the final training session.

Kirsten Clark - who had a pair of top 20s Tuesday - finished in 10th for the final run. Megan Gerety (Anchorage, AK), eighth and sixthTuesday, was 36th Wednesday while Alison Powers (Winter Park, CO), who also had a pair of top-20s on Day One, was 25th in the lastsession.

"Yeah, definitely, some good results...but it's still training, and the key result comes in the race," said women's DH/SG Head Coach JimTracy. Added Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj, "We're cautiously optimistic. These were very promising results...but they were in training."

Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) will join the other four Saturday in the super G.