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Saalbach, Austria Jan. 11, 2002 (USSA)–Picabo Street (Park City, Utah) was the top American Friday in the women’s downhill inSaalbach, finishing 10th behind winner Hilde Gerg of Germany. Kirsten Clark (Raymond, Maine) was 11th.
It was the third top-10 downhill for Street, who remains the top Olympic qualifier for the U.S. Ski Team in downhill.
Clark, starting second, set the early pace before Gerg came on to take the lead. It was Gerg’s second World Cup win of theseason — first in downhill, and moved her ahead of Isolde Kostner of Italy for fourth in the FIS Alpine World Cup standings.
Four Americans cracked the top-30 points including Street and Clark, Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) was20th and Katie Monahan (Aspen, Colo.) wound up 27th. Jonna Mendes (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) did not finish.
“Peek did a better job — she’s so hungry now; she wants to win. Actually, Jonna probably would have been the topAmerican,” DH/SG Coach Jim Tracy said, “but she made a mistake, carrying too much speed into a turn in the mid-section– just about in front of me — and she showed up ready to race and she was moving.
“They all came to race and it was an okay day, but only okay,” he added. “We’ve got a lot of little things to clean up. “Youcan’t be too over-aggressive on this course because it’s not long enough, if you make a mistake, to make-up for themistake.”
Tracy said the noon start meant there was flat light for racers at the back. Only two skiers from outside the top first 30starters broke into the top 25, none in the top 20.
The women are back in action Saturday with a second downhill, with a slalom and combined wrapping up the weekend onSunday.