HAUS, Austria, Jan. 31 2004 -- World Cup rookie Bryna McCarty collected her second World Cup downhill top-10 in 24 hours Saturday, finishing ninth, with Lindsey Kildow in 11th place as five U.S. women rolled into the top 25. Isolde Kostner of Italy won her first race since November 2001.
Kostner, who won back-to-back downhills at Lake Louise at the start of the Olympic season but was injured a year later in a racing crash, was second Friday in another downhill; Saturday, she won in 1:39.31. Renate Goetschl of Austria was second in 1:39.66 and leads the World Cup DH standings; she's second overall in World Cup standings, 45 points back of Sweden's Anja Paerson, who is battling the flu.
A day after veteran Kirsten Clark suffered knee ligament damage and a broken wrist, McCarty - who was fifth Friday - finished ninth behind Kostner in 1:40.15. Kildow, who skied out in the first DH, was timed in 1:40.23 while Caroline Lalive was the third American in the top 20, finishing 19th (1:40.74).
"It was pretty solid," McCarty said. "I think I lost time off a jump — I didn't hold it really well and landed far back, but I was really comfortable and relaxed again."
McCarty bound for World Cup Finals?
"I haven't been doing World Cups that long and these people are really good. I'm psyched to be up here I was," she said.
Despite missing four World Cup downhills, McCarty appears to be on the verge of qualifying for World Cup Finals, which is for the top 25. Her two DHs moved her into 23rd place with one downhill remaining before Finals.
Libby Ludlow, who also crashed in the first DH, was 21st with Jonna Mendes 23rd. Stacey Cook, in her second World Cup race, was 32nd, finishing .07 out of the top 30, and Alison Powers, with times that had her headed toward a top-20, missed the final gate after losing a ski pole.
"After what happened Friday, it was a great effort by the girls. They did an amazing job; I'm so proud of my team," said U.S. Head Coach Patrick Riml. "It was just a great effort...they were really focused and going for it. We had a setback but they went out and really gave it their best. It was so much fun watching them."
Head coach likes "unbelievable" showing
He pointed to McCarty's top top-25 results at Lake Louise in early December, her Nor Am victories and strong results in Europa Cups. "Bryna was on a podium, she won a super G, and we brought her back," Riml said. "It was a goal for her to ski her turns better, and she worked hard on GS, and it's paid off. She still has a bit to go, she's not perfect — but she put a lot of effort in there. She's been stepping up."
"And for Lindsey, after that crash and she was lucky not to be injured, this was a very good result for her...and Libby, too. I tell you, the effort from these girls is unbelievable."
The women's third race in three days comes Sunday with a super G before they head to Germany's Arber Region for a giant slalom and slalom Feb. 7-8.