PARK CITY, Utah April 26 (USSA) – Reigning world and World Cup giant slalom champion Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA) — the most successful U.S. men’s downhill and super G racer — head a group of 39 skiers named to the U.S. Alpine Team for the 2005 season, Program Director Jesse Hunt announced. Miller and Rahlves finished fourth and fifth respectively in the overall World Cup standings and will be contenders next season for the overall title.
The group includes 22 men and 17 women on the national team and two men and three women on the development team. The U.S. Alpine Team for 2005:
Men: A Team –
Jake Fiala (28; Frisco, CO), Bryon Friedman (23; Park City, UT), Bode Miller (26; Franconia, NH), Daron Rahlves (30; Sugar Bowl, CA), Tom Rothrock (25; Cashmere, WA), Erik Schlopy (31; Park City, UT), Dane Spencer (26; Boise, ID) and Marco Sullivan (24 on April 27).
B Team – Jimmy Cochran (22; Keene, NH), Chip Knight (29; Stowe, VT), Ted Ligety (19; Park City, UT), Scott Macartney (26; Redmond, WA), Jesse Marshall (23; Pittsfield, VT) and Steve Nyman (22; Orem, UT).
C Team – Nick Baker (20; Gilford, NH), Wade Bishop (24; Winter Park, CO), Kevin Francis (21; Bend, OR), Jeff Harrison (20; Steilacoom, WA), TJ Lanning (19; Park City, UT), Jeremy Transue (20; Hunter, NY), Andrew Weibrecht (18; Lake Placid, NY) and Jake Zamansky (22; Aspen, CO).
Women: A Team – Kirsten Clark (27; Raymond, ME), Lindsey Kildow (20; Vail, CO), Kristina Koznick (28; Eagan, MN), Caroline Lalive (24; Steamboat Springs, CO), Libby Ludlow (22; Bellevue, WA), Bryna McCarty (21; Concord, VT), Jonna Mendes (25; Heavenly, CA), Sarah Schleper (25; Vail, CO) and Resi Stiegler (18; Jackson Hole, WY).
B Team – Stacey Cook (19; Truckee, CA), Julia Mancuso (20; Olympic Valley, CA), Kaylin Richardson (19; Edina, MN) and Lauren Ross (22; Stowe, VT).
C Team – Caitlin Ciccone (19; Littleton, NH), Katie Hitchcock (19; Sugar Bowl, CA), Keeley Kelleher (19; Big Sky, MT) and Jessica Kelley (21; Starksboro, VT).
The U.S. Alpine Development Team: Men – Chris Beckmann (17; Altamont, NY) and Evan Weiss (20, Seattle, WA). Women – Shelley Glover (17; Madison, WI), Chelsea Marshall (17; Pittsfield, VT) and Ashley Spina (19; Guildhall, VT).
Miller, who won gold in the GS and combined, and silver in super G at the 2003 World Championships, won six events last season (four giant slaloms, two combined tallies) and collected the first World Cup title by an American man since Phil Mahre won the overall, GS and combined championships in 1983. The Carrabassett Valley Academy product has won 12 World Cup events in his career, second to Mahre in career wins.
Rahlves was a four-time winner last season — twice in downhill, twice in super G — as he finished runnerup in downhill for the second straight season and was second in the super G standings as well. Both are the best U.S. rankings in those disciplines to date.
On the women’s side, Clark leads a team marked by its depth, according to Hunt. The women finished third in the Nations Cup last season. Nine women qualified for the A Team, the largest number of athletes since 1992. Clark finished third in a World Cup GS and ninth in the World Cup downhill standings. Kildow and Schleper also had podiums last season.
“This is a well-balanced team with proven success,” Hunt said. “We had 10 World Cup victories last season and 20 podiums, and more success at the Europa Cup and Nor Am levels as well as taking the the Marc Hodler team Trophy at World Junior Championships. Bode and Daron had great seasons, for sure, but it wasn’t a one- or two-man show or just World Cup success. We talk about winning at every level and we were doing that.
Hunt looks for continued improvement, and said the return of, most notably, Schlopy, Sullivan and Clark from injury will further strengthen the Ski Team as it heads into the 2005 World Chaampionships in Bormio, Italy, and builds toward the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.
Thirteen U.S. skiers qualified to race at World Cup Finals, which was just one indication of the growing depth for the Ski Team, Hunt said. “Success breeds confidence and confidence can lead to all kinds of good things. I’m excited about this team and this season.”
The women’s team will move forward with Patrick Riml heading up the Tech Team as well as being the women’s head coach. There will be no replacement for Wolfgang Erharter, former women’s SL/GS head coach.