March 3, 2007
TARVISIO, ITALY - (USST News Bureau Release) - In an improbable scenario, Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) finished third Sunday in a super G behind World Cup SG champion Renate Goetschl of Austria - pushing the two into a tie for the overall points lead.
WCSN.com will broadcast same-day video streaming from Tarvisio at 5 p.m. ET.
Goetschl, who was handed the super G title when Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) decided to rest an ailing knee injury and skip the last month of the season, won in 1:18.66. Austrian Nicole Hosp was second (1:19.67) and Mancuso third (1:19.88) over the 1.9K course.
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), starting 33rd, zipped into sixth place for easily the best World Cup super G performance of her career while Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) was 11th after starting 36th and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) 18th.
Mancuso and Goetschl pulled past Austrian Marlies Schild in the overall points tally - each with 1,199 points as six races remain. It's believed to be the first time a U.S. woman has led the points since Tamara McKinney won the World Cup title in 1983; after two races in the 1993 season, new U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame member Julie Parisien was second, one point behind Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden.
It was the third podium of the weekend for Mancuso who was second Friday in a super combined, won Saturday's downhill - and dedicated her fourth victory of the season to her late great-grandmother, who was being buried Saturday - and then third Sunday.
Rapid-fire lead changes
At the end of the top seed of skiers, it was a lead change for four consecutive runs. Alexandra Meissnitzer came down No. 27 and took the lead at 1:19.95. Mancuso came next at 28th, led at each interval and became the new leader (1:19.88) before Hosp (1:19.67) knocked her down to second...and Goetschl skied to the 45th win of her career (and seventh this season), finishing a second up on everyone in 1:18.66.
"I was very surprised. I didn't have the best run of my life," Mancuso said. "I was making little mistakes - nothing big, but messing up all the way...but I kept it going...
"I'm having a good time. I'm having fun with my skiing and it was so cool today to almost have three of us teammates in the top 10. Stacey almost beat me; she just killed it," Mancuso added.
Cook, 15th Saturday in Mancuso's DH victory, has had problems in super G this season "so I had no expectation and I'm really happy to be smiling in the finish."
Cook makes up for disappointing DH Saturday
She conceded, "I was out for revenge today because I wanted to do what I did today yesterday and it didn't happen. But it's a California day - sunny, blue skies, a Mammoth Mountain springtime day, spring snow...just perfect..."
Cook said the course froze overnight "and I thought the sun would warm it up and it would get slushy, but it didn't." The result, she said, will give her confidence as she defends her super G title during the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, which begin March 28 at Alyeska Resort in Alaska.
"It doesn't matter that I didn't qualify for World Cup Finals in super G because this result shows me I can ski it at this level, and I'll keep working on it more for next year," she said.
DH/SG Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser said, "No complaints here. This was a course for speed - you had to point your skis down the hill. Julia made mistakes but she still kept it together, even when she hooked up quickly as she was going onto the flats...and I'm totally psyched with the results from Stacey and Kaylin; that was awesome! They did a great job.
"The course held up well - they put some chemicals into the bottom, but the rest of the run was really hard. The course was pretty straight forward; there were four or five key sections where you had to be totally on it or it was over...and our girls were there," he said.
The women, who were completing the first World Cup visit to Tarvisio, head next to Zwiesel, Germany, for a giant slalom and slalom before World Cup Finals March 14-18 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
For complete results: www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=21983&cal_suchsector=AL.