Powers Scores First World Cup Points at Innsbruck Downhill

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Innsbruck, Austria Feb. 25--Alison Powers (Winter Park, CO)out-battled softening snow and a late start spot Friday to collect thefirst World Cup points of her young career. World Cup leader RenateGoetschl of Austria bolstered her lead by winning by nearly ahalf-second over Regina Haeusl of Germany.

A small, fast-moving storm rolled into the mountains around Innsbruckovernight, leaving a trace of wet snow and then 40-degree temperaturesfurther played with the course, creating nightmarish conditions forskiers. Some waxing technicians were caught between bounces on thechange in conditions, according to U.S. Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj.

Goetschl opened the speed weekend outside Innsbruck with a time of1:33.72 and Haeusl - who leads the World Cup DH standings - was clockedin 1:34.17. Michaela Dorfmeister, who gave up the World Cup points leadto her Austrian teammate earlier this month, took third in 1:34.22 withItaly's Isolde Kostner, who led both training runs, fourth in 1:34.31.Melanie Turgeon of Canada and France's Ingrid Jacquemod tied for fifth(1:34.55).

Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) was top American, finishing 28th with atime of 1:36.74. Next was Powers, who came out of No. 42 start and whosetime was 1:36.97, and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) in 30th at 1:37.03.Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) was DNF.

"It was extremely warm - like an April day. It was 40-45 degrees,"Cernigoj said. He said the front edge of a storm came in during thenight with light rain and a half-inch of wet snow. It played with theservicemen a bit and the girls skied better than their results showed.It should be better Saturday and then more stable on Sunday."

The schedule calls for a double-SG weekend, super G Saturday andSunday.