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Lake louise, Alberta Dec. 1, 2001 (USSA)–A continual light snow that startedbefore dawn and racing first in the field of 63 skiers didn’t fazeCaroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) as she collected the third top-3result of her World Cup career and the women’s first podium result.German Petra Haltmayr won the super G on the final day of theWinterstart World Cup and Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA).
Outdoor Life Network will televise coverage of the super G Dec. 6 at 8p.m. EST. OLN also will broadcast coverage of the two downhills, whichopened the women’s annual World Cup visit to this Canadian Rockies skiarea, Monday night at 9 EST.
Haltmayr, whose only other World Cup win came a year ago when she wonthe first of two DHs at Lake Louise, skied No. 6 and finished with atime of 1:15.09. Second place went to Carole Montillet of France in1:15.77 and Lalive, who finished second in a combined event each of thelast two years, stepped onto her first race podium in 1:15.88.
Mendes, a dazed 45th Friday in the DH after being 13th in her comebackthe previous day from a broken bone in her ankle last March, was 10thfor the first super G top-10 of her career. Her time was 1:16.41 whileKirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), troubled by fogged goggles, was 19th(1:16.84) with Katie Monahan (Aspen, CO) in 25th at 1:17.04
Lalive: “One race at a time…(still)”Lalive, sporting a purple swipe under her left eye, a memento from theslalom pole that smacked her 10 days earlier at Copper Mountain,accepted congratulations from foreign competitors, including Austria’sformer World Cup champion Renate Goetschl — with whom Lalive shares awaxing technician — and Italy’s Isolde Kostner, who won the two DHsThursday and Friday, and trading French conversation with Montillet andMelanie Suchet, who finished fifth.
“Overall, this just builds your confidence,” the Coloradoan said. “Idon’t want to jump ahead of myself and make any predictions, or anythingof that sort. This is gonna take me into the next race feeling a lotmore confident and excited. I’m taking it one race at a time…
“You never know. Skiing is weird. Sometimes you feel great and you’rebutt-slow, and sometimes you feel like you’re out of control and you’refast,” Lalive told reporters with a big smile. “I felt like it was agood run and I just had to wait.”
Mendes said the continual snow softened the light, but didn’t entirelydisrupt the skiers. After training in two days of overcast weather, thefirst two days of racing were in sunshine…but the super G was adifferent story with the snow. “Our training runs were kind of like this– it’s light but you can’t see as well as you could if it’s sunny andyou can see the snow. It was a little flat light, but the course waswell taken care of, so…”
Coaches cautiously optimisticThe big swing in her results was another reminder than in coming backfrom an injury she had to be patient and keep plugging. “I approached itlike it was a new day,” she said. “I’ve never been injured before, so Idon’t know how it goes,” she said, “and I certainly don’t know whathappened Friday when she was 45th…but I have to stay patient andkeep doing my best.”
“Still room for improvement,” said DH/SG Head Coach Jim Tracy, “but thegirls are skiing well. The young ones Lindsey Kildow, Vail, CO, andJulia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA are paying their dues, but Lindseylooked liek she was headed for a top-10 and Julia probably would’ve beentop 20, so it’s a good start for the season for us.”
Head Coach Marjan Cernigoj reflected on the entire set of races, notsimply the super G and said, “The whole team stepped up. This was agreat weekend; it started with the downhills. I’m really happy forCaroline. After a little slump in slalom and GS, this should give herincredible confidence.”
Most of the women will stay in Lake Louise and race part of the Nor AmCup schedule, including a pair of super Gs and a FIS-B super G, beforeheading to Europe for the resumption of the schedule.