Koz, Schleper 4-5 in Saalbach Slalom

skn011402-koz slalom

Saalbach, Austria, Jan. 14, 2002--On Sunday, Laure Pequegnot of France picked up her second World Cup slalom victory of the season. Kristina Koznick of Burnsville, MN was fourth, Sarah Schleper of Vail, CO took fifth and Caroline Lalive of Steamboat Springs, CO was sixth in the combined.

Tanja Poutiainen of Finland led the first run, but fell after she got several gates into her second run. The error gave the win to Pequgnot. Sonja Nef of Switzerland was second and Ylva Nowen of Sweden was third.

Koznick narrowly missed the podium by .01 and Schleper who 12th in the first run moved up to fifth place with the second-fastest final run. No other American was in the top 30.

However, in the combined calculation, mixing the slalom with a downhill Saturday, Austrian Renate Goetschl took first while Lalive was sixth and Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley, CA was 11th for her first World Cup points of the season. Lindsey C. Kildow of Vail, CO, who was 24th in the DH, fell at the bottom of her final run in a bid for combined points.

"That's -- what? -- five straight top-10s for Sarah. She's just skiing awesome, so full of confidence," Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj said. "She's really knocking on the door of those top skiers and, obviously, we hope she continues with this."

Lalive, who had four top-10s in Saalbach a year ago, including a second place finish in the combined, was 16th Saturday in downhill but failed to qualify in slalom. "This was disappointing for 'Liner,' no question. We -- and she -- expected more but so it goes," said Cernigoj.

Next weekend the women have a giant slalom and slalom in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and the following weekend they will be in Cortina, Italy for the final pre-Olympic selection events. The US Alpine Olympic Team is expected to be named Jan. 28.


Saalbach, AUT - Jan. 13

Women's Slalom
1. Laure Pequegnot, France, 1:27.22
2. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 1:27.80
3. Ylva Nowen, Sweden, 1:27.89
4. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 1:27.90
5. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 1:27.98
Did not qualify for 2nd run: Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Combined (Saturday's downhill/Sunday's slalom)
1. Renate Goetschl, Austria
2. Janica Kostelic, Croatia
3. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria
6. Caroline Lalive Steamboat Springs, CO11. Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, Calif.