Schleper 5th, Koz 7th at Maribor


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Maribor, Slovenia, Jan. 7, 2002–Swedish world champion Anja Paerson won her fourth straight World Cup slalom — her third in eight days, her second in 24 hours — with a brilliant second run that gave her the win by eight-hundredths of a second over Laure Pequegnot of France in 1:41.14. Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) picked up her fourth consecutive top-10 in fifth place and Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN) was seventh.

Outdoor Life Network will broadcast slalom coverage from Maribor Monday night at 9 EST.

Paerson, whose first World Cup victory came three years ago at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., has won all four slaloms since Pequgnot won Thanksgiving Day at Copper Mountain, Colo. Pequegnot led by .18 after the first run but the former world junior champion from Ingemar Stenmark’s hometown of Tarnaby in northern Sweden laid down a second run that Pequegnot couldn’t match. Pequegnot’s time was 1:41.22 with Swiss racer Sonja Nef, who won Friday’s giant slalom, third at 1:42.63.

Schleper grabbed her first top-5 of the winter in 1:43.12 with Koznick, who had been second Saturday in a slalom makeup from Megeve, seventh in 1:43.31. No other Americans qualified for a second run.

Schleper also finished third in the Golden Fox Award tally, which mixes results from the giant slalom Friday and Sunday’s slalom. Nef and Paerson went 1-2 with Schleper third.

“That’s four in a row in the top 10 for Sarah. That’s her best streak and if she can keep this up, it’s going to be fun to watch,” said Head Coach Marjan Cernoigoj. “She’s found her balance and it looks almost effortless. She’s not trying too hard and she doesn’t seem to be as nervous as she was earlier in the season.”

The snow conditions were excellent, Cernoigoj said, “and this has to have been one of the best weeks ever in Masribor. We had another 12-15,000 screaming fans again today and it was very exciting.”

The women’s tour moves on to Saalbach for three races Jan. 11-13 — two downhills and a slalom, leading to the first combined calculation of the season.

Maribor, SLO – Jan. 6
Women’s Slalom-2
1. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:41.14
2. Laure Pequegnot, France, 1:41.22
3. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 1:42.63
4. Christel Pascal-Saioni, France, 1:42.92
5. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 1:43.12

7. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 1:43.31

Did not qualify for 2nd run: Lindsey C. Kildow, Vail, Colo.
DNF-1: Caroline Lalive, Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Alex Shaffer, Park City, Utah

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