From US Ski Team
ARE, Sweden (March 17) - Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) produced the third-fastest final run Friday for the best result of her young career as she moved into a tie for fourth place in slalom at World Cup Finals. Newly crowned World Cup champion Janica Kostelic of Croatia won by nearly a full second at World Cup Finals.
Kostelic, who already had clinched her third World Cup slalom title, had a two-run time of 1:45.28 with Austrian Marlies Schild second (1:46.15).
Stiegler, who was ninth in the first run, had a total clocking of 1:46.84 as she tied Finn Tanja Poutiainen, the 2005 SL World Cup champ. Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) was 17th and Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA), tied for 20th in the first run, didn't start the second run.
"I know where I made my mistakes, but at the same time," Stiegler said, "where my skiing is right now, I definitely pushed it to the point of being just a little off-balance, but still solid and strong throughout the course. I felt good the whole way down. I've been worrying about finishing, but I didn't struggle with that this run."
She noted, "In the start of the second run, I reflected on my season and thought about what I'd done. I pushed it." Her season got a delayed start when Stiegler injured a shin in training before the season opener and didn't race for two months; she still made the Olympic Team and capped it Friday with arguably her best performance.
"Last year I pushed myself a little too long, and this year after the Olympics and injuries and everything, I'm just going to stop skiing. We're not going to ski until August, so I'm excited for a break. I have a billion things going on, but I don't want to say yes to anything because I haven't decided what I'm doing."
"Resi ripped that second run. She was really clean in the difficult sections," SL/GS Head Coach Trevor Wagner said. "This is a medium, rolling hill - not like the steep we had last week in Levi (Finland), which has to be the steepest on the tour...but Resi handled this one well."
He said Mancuso, the surprise Olympic GS gold medalist last month, decided not to ski the second run "because she was pretty far out and - at the end of a long season, she wants to save his focus and energy so she can win the GS Saturday. She's fine, just a little fried."
The women run giant slalom Saturday and Kildow, Stiegler and Mancuso are expected to take part Sunday in the team event - with men and women competing for their national team - that ends of the World Cup season. Run times Saturday are 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. ET; to follow the race through live results, go to: livetiming.usskiteam.com.
ALPINE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
World Cup Finals
Are, SWE - March 17, 2006
1. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:45.28
2. Marlies Schild, Austria, 1:46.15
3. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:46.34
4. (tie) Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Taja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:46.84 each
17. Lindsey Kildow, Vail, Colo., 1:49.45
DNS-2:Julia Mancuso, Olympics Valley, Calif.
For complete results:http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=17080