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St. Moritz, Switzerland Dec. 22, 2001 (USSA)–Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) held up the honor of Maine’s Carrabassett Valley Academy Saturday as she overcame flat-light conditions to produce a podium performance of her own, tying for third place and leading three teammates into the top 25 in a World Cup super G won by Italy’s Karen Putzer.
Outdoor Life Network will televise coverage of the season’s third super G Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. EST.
Coincidentally, Putzer’s only other World Cup victory came two years ago in another early season super G at St. Moritz. She walloped the field, winning by three-quarters of a second with a time of 1:26.18.
Teammate Daniela Ceccarelli was second in 1:26.93 and Clark, skiing 27th on a day when CVA schoolmate Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) skied out in a men’s slalom, was deadlocked with Austrian Stefanie Schuster, who ran 28th, at 1:27.15. A downhill winner last season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, it was Clark’s best super G result.
In addition, Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) was bound for her third straight super G top-10 until Canadian Genevieve Simard came out of No. 64 to finish eighth, bumping Lalive back to 11th. Katie Monahan (Aspen, CO), who was on super G podium at St. Moritz three seasons ago before knee injuries decked her for the past two years, was tied for 17th and World Cup rookie Lindsey C. Kildow (Vail, CO) earned points in her second consecutive super G, started 46th and was 24th in a race where a dozen racers from outside the first 30 starts broke into the points.
Tracy: difficult conditions in flat light
“Clarky skied really well considering the light,” said DH/SG Head Coach Jim Tracy. “There was a little sun — Putzer got it and so did Ceccarelli — but it was mostly overcast, so it wasn’t very good at all. You could tell the way the first-seed girls skied, Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister went out and Italian Isolde Kostner — it wasn’t pretty. Picabo Street – Park City, UT never had a chance, not a chance, and some others didn’t trust themselves…and that’s understandable because it was not good. But Clarky did a great job, and so did ‘Liner’ Lalive and Katie and Lindsey.
“Katie made another really big step forward. She’s gotten better in every super G as her confidence keeps building,” Tracy said, “but this was a big one. And Lindsey executed where she had to; she trusted herself and did good, too. This is a very difficult course because there’s so much terrain and there are no trees to help with setting a line and it takes a lot of nerve to send it in those conditions…”
There also were several controversies about the course, Tracy said. “They moved a gate at the bottom after the forerunners and I heard there were three or four changes in the course between Friday night and this morning. An Italian set it and there wasn’t much flow or rhythm. It was weird.” Another section at the top also reportedly was changed after the forerunners had problems, altering the course which the racers had inspected.
But that didn’t stop Clark. She was 23rd at the first interval but picked it up after that, skied almost flawlessly at the bottom of the hill and rolled into the top three, only to be tied moments later when Schuster came down.
Clark kept her eyes open, learns
“I started the season strong 11th and eighth in two downhills at Lake Louise, then 19th in the first super G but struggled a little here in Europe 23rd in a super G, 25th in Friday’s downhill in St. Moritz. My goal is to keep skiing consistently,” Clark said.
“I was on the chairlift when the first skiers went,” she explained, “and I saw 2, 3, 4 and 5 all go out. So, I spoke to my coach, who said I had to ski smart but still be aggressive.
“So, I skied smart but took a gutsy line. Friday, I wasn’t so happy with my downhill, so I’, happy today with my third place.”
Monahan, who returned this winter after two years of rehabilitating her right knee — injured in a falll 1999 training camp, was quietly pleased with her run. “I’ve been making steps forward. I feel like I’m skiing well,” she said. “I like where I am now,” moving forward and improving in each race. The next women’s races are technical events, a giant slalom Dec. 29 in Lienz, Austria, and a slalom the next day and then another GS/SL combination Jan. 5-6 in Maribor, Slovenia.