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Park City, UT, May 10–World Championships triple goldmedalist Sarah Billmeier (Yarmouth, ME), quadruple medalist ChrisWaddell (Park City, UT) and nordic champions Steve Cook (Salt Lake City)and Bob Balk (Penfield, NY) top a group of 28 athletes named Wednesdayto the U.S. Disabled Ski Team for the coming season.
Alpine Head Coach Ewald Zirbisegger named 21 skiers – 13 men and eightwomen – while Coach John Kreamelmeyer said seven racers, including sixmen, qualified for the cross country team. Eleven of the skierscollected gold medals at the World Disabled Championships last winter inSwitzerland as the U.S. Disabled Ski Team again picked up the mostmedals.
Billmeier, who continues to blend training and competition with studiesat Dartmouth College, won the downhill, giant slalom and slalom titlesand took silver in super G at the World Championships last January inSwitzerland. She lost her left leg above the knee when she was five; shealso won three gold medals at the 1996 World Championships and hascaptured seven Paralympics gold medals.
Waddell, who was paralyzed in a 1988 ski accident, moved to Park Citylast summer to take advantage of training opportunities in and aroundthe 2002 Paralympics venues. At the Worlds, he won the slalom title, twosilver medals and a bronze.
Balk, a 1998 Paralympics medalist, and Cook led a record-settingoutburst by U.S. cross country skiers, who earned eight medals at theWorld Championships. Cook earned two bronze medals in addition to hiswin in the 10-km classic technique race while Balk, the 15-km sit-skiwinner, also was silver medalist in the 5-km.
The 2000-01 U.S. Disabled Ski Team (with hometown and disability class):
Men – A Team:
Clay Fox (LW-4; Gillette, WY), Jason Lalla (LW-2;Bradford, NH), Greg Mannino (LW-2; Vail, CO), Monte Meier (LW-2;Hastings, MN), Jacob Rife (LW-3/2; Pocatello, ID), and Chris Waddell(LW-10; Park City, UT). B Team: Daniel Kosick (LW-2; Binghamton, NY) andBobby McMullen (B-2; Redding, CA). C Team: Carl Burnett (LW-11; CapeElizabeth, ME), Adam Fromma (LW-6; Winter Park, CO), Andy Pare (B-3;Rockland, ME), George Sansonetis (LW-9/2; Winter Park, CO), and JoeTompkins (LW-11; Juneau, AK).
Women – A Team:
Sarah Billmeier (LW-2; Yarmouth, ME), Muffy Davis(LW-10; Sun Valley, ID), Csilla Kristof (LW-6, Las Vegas), Mary Riddell(LW-4, Dove Creek, CO), and Sarah Will (LW-11, Vail, CO). B Team: LeeJoiner (LW-9/1; Red Lodge, MT). C Team: Allison Jones (LW-2; ColoradoSprings, CO) and Jennifer Kelchner (LW-4; Cazenovia, NY).
Men – A Team:
Bob Balk (LW-11; Penfield, NY) and Steve Cook (LW-4; SaltLake City). B Team: Mike Crenshaw (LW-4; Boulder, CO) and Willie Stewart(LW-6/8; Redlands, CA). C Team: Scott McNiece (LW-10; St. Petersburg,FL) and Rob Walsh (B-3; Hanover, NH).
Women – A Team:
Candace Cable (LW-11; Truckee, CA).