SCHLADMING, Austria Jan. 26, 2005 (AP by Erica Bulman) - World Cup overall leader Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves were among 19 skiers selected Tuesday for the U.S. team at the world championships in Italy. Miller, Rahlves, Lindsey Kildow and Kristina Koznick lead the team for the competition that begins Saturday, with the men racing in Bormio and the women in nearby Santa Caterina.
The team features 10 men and nine women. Twelve raced at the last world championships in 2003 in St. Moritz, Switzerland, including the four who won medals there, when the United States set a national record with six medals. Selections were made Sunday after the World Cup races in Kitzbuehel and Maribor. Each nation is allowed four skiers in each event, with an automatic extra berth for the defending world champion. Starting berths in each of the five events, as well as this year's new team event, have not yet been completed. ``Our team goal for the men is to maintain our performance from St. Moritz,'' U.S. men's coach Phil McNichol said. ``If anything people might say that's a low-balling it, but four medals at the world championships is a lot. We've made huge strides from the past and if we walk away with five-six that's great.''
At World Cup races in Santa Caterina this month, Kildow was second and fourth in two downhills. Caroline Lalive had two top-10 results, Koznick was runner-up in a slalom and Mancuso fourth in a giant slalom, her top World Cup result.
At the 2003 worlds, the medalists were: Miller, gold in the giant slalom and combined, silver in the super giant slalom; Erik Schlopy, bronze in giant slalom; Kirsten Clark, silver in super-G; and Jonna Mendes, bronze in the super-G. The men's team: Ted Ligety, Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, Tom Rothrock, Erik Schlopy, Dane Spencer, James Cochran, Scott Macartney, J.J. Johnson and Steve Nyman.
The women's team: Kirsten Clark, Lindsey Kildow, Kristina Koznick, Caroline Lalive, Julia Mancuso, Bryna McCarty, Jonna Mendes, Sarah Schleper and Resi Stiegler.