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Hosp wins Loveland GS


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GEORGETOWN, CO (USST report) – Austrian Nicole Hosp, who came out of nowhere to be one of three who tied for win last month at the opening World Cup of the season, pulled past Canadian Britt Janyk to win the opening Nature Valley Alpine Cup GS at Loveland Basin Ski Area. Top U.S. skier was Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY), who turns 17 Thursday.

Hosp, second in the first run, was timed in 1:52.35 with Janyk clocked in 1:52.50.

“My last run as a 16-year-old,” Stiegler beamed as she accepted congratulations from her mother and teammates. “I’m really psyched. There was a lot of bumping because of the cross ruts from the first run.”

She was two places ahead of Janica Kostelic, the Croatian who won three gold medals – including GS – and a silver at the 2002 Olympics. “I’m so psyched, beating the Olympic champion,” Stiegler said.

Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), third in the first run, appeared headed to a top-10 result, possibly top-5, when she almost skied off-course eight gates from the finish. She wound up 31st.

The Nature Valley Alpine Cup races, the first events of the Chevy Truck Super Series, continue Thursday with another women’s GS before they move on to Winter Park, CO, for slaloms Sunday and Monday while the men race a pair of slaloms Saturday and Sunday at Loveland Basin.

Nature Valley Alpine Cup
Loveland Basin Ski Area
Georgetown, CO – Nov. 13
Women’s Giant Slalom
1. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 1:52.35
2. Britt Janyk, Canada, 1:52.50
3. Silvia Berger, Austria, 1:52.90
4. Allison Forsyth, Canada, 1:52.99
5. Genevieve Simard, Canada, 1:53.00

Americans in the top 25:
6. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:53.33.
16. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:53.93
23. Jessica Kelley, Starksboro, VT, 1:54.74
24. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, MN, 1:54.82

Battelle, Puckett retire

PARK CITY, UT (Nov. 12) – Former two-time World Cup moguls champion and World Championships gold medalist Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, CO) has decided to retire from international competition, the U.S. Ski Team said Tuesday. Her retirement headlines a list of more than a dozen World Cup skiers – including four-time Olympian Casey Puckett (Aspen, CO) – who have retired since the end of the Olympic winter.

Battelle, a native of Williston, VT, turned to moguls skiing after graduating from Middlebury College in 1989 and moving to Steamboat Springs where she learned to ski the bumps from former U.S. Head Coach Park Smalley. She considered retirement after the 1998 Olympics but returned and produced the best skiing of her career, winning the World Cup moguls crown in the 1999 and ’00 seasons; she also collected gold in moguls at the ’99 World Championships in Switzerland as well as the dual moguls bronze medal and six U.S. championships – four in moguls, two in duals.

“I’m done. I sent my letter of resignation. It’s all over now,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier. I’m sleeping easier.”

Battelle, who has battled problems since a suffering a broken shoulder socket in September 2000 – three weeks before her wedding, figured she was done as the Olympics closed, she said, but toyed with the idea of returning until deciding it was time to move on with her life.

“I accomplished a lot. I’m 34 and I skied moguls competitively for 13 years,” she said. “I’m sure when winter comes, I’ll feel it a bit but maybe I’ll do some coaching. We’ll see.”

“Ann was a great champion and just hated to lose. We’ll miss her leadership and her competitive fire,” said Alan Ashley, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association vice president of athletics.

Battelle’s retirement announcement follows two former high-profile teammates earlier this year, both an Olympic and World Cup champion – Jonny Moseley (Tiburon, CA) and Donna Weinbrecht (Killington, VT), plus the well-documented retirement of former alpine Olympic and World Cup and world champion Picabo Street (Park City, UT) after her final Olympic race in February.<

Other retirements by U.S. Ski Team members include:

Alpine – Puckett, four-time Olympian, five-time U.S. champion who, after 13 years on the Ski Team, wore a bear costume in his final run during the GS last March at the Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley; the bear is the mascot of Squaw’s kids’ ski school.

Cross country – Nina Kemppel (Anchorage, AK), another four-time Olympic skier who also is the all-time U.S. title-holder (19 championships); and Marcus Nash (Fryeburg, ME), a two-time Olympian and nine-time U.S. champion.

Disabled – Alpine skiers Sarah Billmeier (LW-2; Yarmouth, ME), an eight-time Paralympics champion and six-time Worlds gold medalist; Muffy Davis (LW-10; Sun Valley, ID), who swept all four World Cup titles last season and is the reigning mono-ski giant slalom champion; Jennifer Kelchner (LW-4; Truckee, CA), the 1998 Paralympic downhill champion; Jake Rife (LW-3; Pocatello, ID); Carl Burnett (LW-11; Cape Elizabeth, ME); and Dan Kosick (LW-2; Binghamton, NY), and cross country skier Rob Walsh (B-3; Hanover, NH), former world champion and a three-time Paralympian.

Freestyle – Tracy Evans (Park City, UT), a three-time Olympian who won the U.S. aerials title on her final competitive jump in March; Jerry Grossi (also Park City), four-time U.S. moguls or duals champion Garth Hager (Bothell, WA), Caleb Martin (Telluride, CO), and 1998 Olympians Alex Wilson (Buffalo, NY), Brit Swartley (Blue Bell, PA) and Mariano Ferrario (Park City, UT).

Jumping – Brendan Doran (Steamboat Springs, CO), two-time Olympian and the 2000 U.S. 90-meter champion.

Nordic combined – Matt Dayton (Breckenridge, CO), 2002 Olympian, and Kris Erichsen (Steamboat Springs, CO), a two-time Olympian.