Beaver Creek, CO, Nov. 29 (AP by Mike Clark)--On a Sunday when Hermann Maier and the rest of the Austrians dominated the top half of the score sheet, a few non-Europeans tasted some success.
Daron Rahlves of Truckee, Calif., who had crashed in his last two races on the Birds of Prey course, made it to the bottom on Sunday to finish 14th, grabbing one of the few top-15 spots not occupied by an Austrian. Maier won the race, his fourth in as many starts this season, and 10 other Austrians were in the top 16.
Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., starting 57th, reversed a recent trend of trouble by placing 23rd; Chad Fleischer of Vail, Colo., was 27th, and Canada's Ed Podivinsky, a downhill specialist coming back after a year off due to a knee injury, earned a point by placing 30th.
Rahlves, who crashed in the world championships downhill last winter and then blew out of the downhill on Saturday, showed the form that has made him the top American super-G skier the last several years,
``I wanted to get in the top 15 or 20 with a solid run (Saturday). That's what I wanted to start the year off with, but it didn't happen,'' Rahlves said. ``That's part of ski racing.
``You've just got to push the limits, and today I made sure I stuck that one bump (that felled him Saturday) and skied it well.''
Miller crashed out of the season-opening giant slalom at Tignes, France, then failed to finish the slalom and GS held here earlier in the week.
``I'm happy to make it to the finish,'' Miller said. ``I've been skiing well in the other events and to make stupid mistakes before the home crowd, it's nice at least to make it to the finish. Things have really been stacking up on me.''
Podivinsky was pleased to score points in a discipline he seldom skis.
``I ski it because we train it in the summer, but downhill is my focus right now,'' the 29-year-old Canadian said. ``I try and ski well in super-G just to improve my downhill, but I'm not sad about a bad result in super-G.
``It's definitely different than downhill. It's really technical,'' he added. ``This is a technical downhill to begin with, and when they set it even tighter, it's just too tough for me.''
By scoring points in both of his races _ he was a fine 13th in Saturday's downhill _ Podivinsky can be optimistic as he heads home for next weekend's races at Lake Louise, Alberta.
``Any time you push out of the start, you've got to be ready to race. You've got to prepare properly. When you can do that a couple times before a big race, it helps a lot. I'll watch video and hope I can make some changes in the super-G for Lake Louise.''
Copyright (c) 1999 The Associated Press