Women Battle Sun at Hood

Caroline Lalive-SL

Timberline, OR, July 5, 2001--Several members of the U.S. women's team get to grab a day off Friday after an intensive holiday week of training--including full-on training on the Fourth -- despite midsummer weather ravaging the snowpack on Mount Hood.

"It's hot, like I can't tell you how hot. It's been unreal," Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj reported. "It's a little difficult, but it's good. We're getting lots of runs each day."

The speed skiers will have Friday off while technical athletes (slalom/GS) will get a break Saturday, the coach said. Jim Tracy leads the super G training with the speed group while Cernigoj not only is overseeing everything but specifically guiding the slalom and GS group in a camp that runs until July 11.

The warm weather means the women -- Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO), Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Katie Monahan (Aspen, CO), Lindsey C. Kildow (Vail, CO) and former Ski Team member Tasha Nelson (Mound, MN) with Picabo Street (Park City, UT) due to arrive by Saturday -- are up on the mountain at 6 a.m. daily with final training runs around 11 or 11:30 a.m.

"It's tight but we work together," Cernigoj said. "We've had three pretty good days of GS and two days of slalom training. Jim hasn't had much of a chance for downhill training because of the snow but that means they've had more super G, which is fine."

After the on-snow training each morning, the women have various forms to their dryland training to mountain biking, exercises or something else. One of the highlights to the week, he said, was a special telephone hookup during a team meeting with Head SL/GS Coach Georg Capaul, who is undergoing rehabilitation at Shepherd Center in Atlanta for a spinal stroke he suffered June 12. It was a good pick-me-up as the athletes think of their missing coach all the time, he said.

"It was great. He spoke with the girls for about 15 minutes and it was so positive. He told everyone to keep focused on their goals, and he said not to feel sorry for him. He's not feeling sorry for himself, Georg told them, and he encouraged them to keep moving forward. They had a good chance to talk."