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Mancuso Grabs Third Place in Close Race


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MARIBOR, Slovenia Feb. 12, 2004 (USST) – In a World Junior Championships race Thursday where the top four women were just .05 apart, Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA/Squaw Valley Ski Team/U.S. A Team) finished third, her seventh World Juniors medal, with Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO/Ski&Snowboard Club Vail/U.S. B Team) fourth in super G. Italy’s Nadia Fanchini and Andrea Fischbacher of Austria tied for gold and Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN/Team Gilboa/U.S. B Team) was a surprise eighth.

Swede Hans Olsson won the men’s super G by more than a second. Jeff Harrison (Steilacoom, WA/White Pass Ski Team/U.S., C Team) had the top U.S. result in 12th place in Maribor, which is holding the World Juniors for the first time since 1992.

Mancuso’s medal puts her one back of Germany’s Maria Riesch, Tuesday’s downhill gold medalist, and Austrian Sabine Ginther, who won eight medals (six gold) in the 1987, ’88 and ’89 World Juniors.

Fischbacher and Fanchini deadlocked for the gold medal in 1:26.79 with Mancuso – who already had three World Juniors gold medals, a silver and two bronzes in three previous championships – finishing in 1:26.80. Kildow, silver medalist behind Riesch in downhill, was timed in 1:26.84. Richardson in 1:27.70.

Tough course – no place to gain time

“It was a great day, a great race…and Julia and Lindsey were right there,” said U.S. Team Leader Walt Evans, the U.S. competition director. “All the U.S. girls had an outstanding day, but Julia and Lindsey really showed the way.

“It’s an unforgiving course, a flat course where you can’t make the slightest mistake and those two and Kaylin really laid it down. How do you look back and see where you might’ve lost a hundredth of a second, or five hundredths? It was great racing,” Evans said.

The super G was held from the same start as Tuesday’s downhill but it had several more control gates, according to rules. With the flat terrain, “Skiers really had to be on it because you had no place to make-up time,” Evans said.

As tight as the women’s race was, the men’s was a blowout. Olsson won with a time of 1:17.49 while Canadians packed the next three places. Manuel Osborne-Paradis took silver in 1:18.54 with Francois Bourque, the DH bronze medalist, third again, this time in 1:18.63, and Brad Spence was fourth in the blockbuster field of 105 men.

Harrison, Weibrecht lead U.S. men
Harrison finished in 1:19.18 with Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY/New York SEF/U.S. Development Team) in 14th with a time of 1:19.26.

“The guys gave it a good run, too, but Olsson and the Canadians skied so well,” according to Evans. “We’re looking for the guys to step-up big in the technical events. Andrew had another strong result and we’re looking for him and a couple of others to make their move over the last two races…

“Everyone had Wednesday off – no skiing for anyone. They did some shopping – a lot of the kids have their parents here, too – and it was a good break. They came back rested,” Evans said, “and re-energized. This was a good, good day.”

Racing resumes Friday night with the women’s slalom. The men race giant slalom Saturday and everything concludes Sunday with women’s GS and then men’s slalom at night plus the combined calculation (which, at World Juniors, includes SL/GS/DH).

Maribor, SLO – Feb. 12
Super G — Men
1. Hans Olsson, Sweden, 1:17.49
2. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Canada, 1:18.54
3. Francois Bourque, Canada, 1:18.63
4. Brad Spence, Canada, 1:18.66
5. Lars Myhre, Norway, 1:18.73

12. Jeff Harrison, Steilacoom, WA/White Pass Ski Team/U.S. C Team, 1:19.18
14. Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, New York Ski Education Foundation/U.S.D.T., 1:19.26
23T. Evan Weiss, Seattle/White Pass Ski Team/U.S.D.T., 1:19.82
26. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT/Park City Ski Teaam/U.S.D.T., 1:19.83
37. Eric Mann, Mammoth Lakes, CA/Mammoth Mountain Ski Team, 1:20.30
57. Christopher Beckmann, Altamont, N.Y./NYSEF, 1:21.45

1T. Nadia Fanchini, Italy, and Andrea Fischbacher, Austria, 1:26.79 each
3. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA/Squaw Valley Ski Team/U.S. A Team, 1:26.80
4. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo./Ski&Snowboard Club Vail/U.S. B Team, 1:26.845. Nadja Kamer, Switzerland, 1:27.03

8. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, MN./Team Gilboa/U.S. B Team, 1:27.70
13. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY./Jackson Hole Ski Team/U.S. B Team, 1:28.28
24. Stacey Cook, Truckee, CA/Mammoth Mountain/U.S. C Team, 1:29.15
35. Caitlin Ciccone, Littleton, NH/Burke Mountain Academy/U.S.D.T., 1:29.84