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Koznick 3rd, Schleper 12th in Aspen


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Aspen, CO, Nov. 25, 2000–For the fourth time this season, Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN) was the top Americanfinisher in a World Cup race as she took third Saturday in a slalom at the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational. U.S. SkiTeam member Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) also got a second run and finished 12th.

The race will be broadcast by ESPN Wed., Nov. 29 at midnight EST.

Croatian Janica Kostelic won the race with a time of 1:23.19. German Martina Ertl was second in 1:24.03 and Koznickfollowed with a time of 1:24.12.

Kostelic and Ertl have had a solid start to the season. The Croatian won the season-opening slalom Nov. 18 in ParkCity, Utah, while Ertl, the overall World Cup points leader, won the season’s first giant slalom in Soelden, Austria Oct.28.

It hasn’t shown that this season is a comeback year for Kostelic, who tore four ligaments in her right knee during atraining accident last December. The injury put her out of action for the remainder of the season after she had won thefirst two World Cup slaloms of the year. She had registered five top-10 finishes and had the lead on the World Cuppoints list prior to the crash.

“I don’t really have any goals for this year, just to stay healthy,” said Kostelic.

Kostelic led after the first run with a time of 40.44 and was the lone skier to post a time under 41 seconds. She held a.53 advantage over Slovenia’s Spela Pretnar, who was second after the opening run with a time of 41.17. Kostelic’ssecond run time of 42.75 was fourth-best, but it was good enough for the win as nobody could close the gap sheopened in the first run.

Koznick was third after the first run as she recorded a time of 41.22. She has been the top American finisher in everyWorld Cup she has competed in this season. Saturday’s finish was a confidence boost for Koznick, who has beenracing on new skis and still trying to get a feel for them. She has four World Cup slalom victories, including two at theend of last season.

“Now that my skis are figured out and I have a podium under my belt, I’m definitely gonna be trying to win,” saidKoznick. ”

As with Koznick, it was also Schleper’s best World Cup result of the season. She was in first after her first run with a42.01. The 12th place finish was the third best of her World Cup career and second-best in slalom. She posted aseventh last season in slalom in Maribor, Slovenia and had an 11th in giant slalom in Berchtesgaden, Germany in ’00.

“The course was really straight and fast,” said Schleper. “I think I could have let it run a little better, but I just wanted toget down to the finish today and have some points under my belt.”

Three other Americans skied off course in their first runs. Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO), Lindsey C.Kildow (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Tahoe City, CA) all fell victim to Ruthie’s Run on Ajax Mountain.

Lalive, who had a career-best super G finish (19th) Friday, had one of her skis came out from under her, causing herto do a 360 and land hard on her back. She lay on the course for over a minute but suffered no injuries.

“They (Kildow and Mancuso) definitely got a pretty good taste of World Cup racing these past two weekends,” saidU.S. head coach Marjan Cernigoj. “Going into the Europa Cup, they should feel a little bit more confident.”

Although the Aspen World Cup is over, action continues on Ajax Sunday and Monday with the Chevy Tuck SuperSeries. A women’s super G is scheduled for each day.

Please visit here for complete results and more information about the Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational.

CHEVY TRUCK ASPEN WINTERNATIONAL WORLD CUP Aspen, Colo. Nov. 25, 2000 Women’s Slalom

1. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:23.19 2. Martina Ertl, Germany, 1:24.03 3. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, MN, 1:24.12 4. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 1:24.15 5. Trine Bakke, Norway, 1:24.36 6. Vanessa Vidal, France, 1:24.40 7. Elisabetta Biavaschi, Italy, 1:24.46 8. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:24.54 9. Spela Pretnar, Sloveniaa, 1:24.63 10. Christel Saioni, France, 1:24.69 11. Allison Forsyth, Canada, 1:25.16 12. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 1:25.22 13. Henna Raita, Finland, 1:25.27 14. Zali Steggall, Australia, 1:25.48 14. Renate Goetschl, Austria, 1:25.48 16. Ylva Nowen, Sweden, 1:25.60 17. Anita Wachter, Austria, 1:25.61 18. Monika Bergmann, Germany, 1:25.67 19. Laure Pequegnot, France, 1:25.68 20. Stephanie Guy-Clement, France, 1:25.70 21. Urska Hrovat, Slovenia, 1:25.76 22. Corina Gruenenfelder, Switzerland, 1:25.83 23. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:25.92 24. Carolina Waidhofer-Dummer, Austria, 1:26.29 25. Karin Truppe, Austria, 1:26.35 25. Natasa Bokal, Slovenia, 1:26.35 27. Helene Richard, France, 1:26.71

Other Americans

DNF Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, CO DNF Lindsey C. Kildow, Vail, CO DNF Julia Mancuso, Tahoe City, CA