Squaw Valley’s Shanley adds second U.S. Selection Event win
December 19, 2009
Laurel Shanley threw down an even better run this past Friday than she did Wednesday, when the Squaw Valley moguls skier won the first U.S. Freestyle Selection Event in Winter Park, Colo.
Shanley, 26, scored nearly a half-point higher Friday to win the second moguls contest and guarantee her place in two upcoming World Cups in the United States. Her top run of 24.11 exceeded runner-up Heidi Kloser (23.53) and third-place Alison DiGravio (22.37) in the 57-competitor field.
and#8220;She’s back. The girl is back,and#8221; said Nat Schirman, Shanley’s head coach with the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team. and#8220;She killed it … It’s been four years since her knee injury, and it’s taken her this long to get back to prime time.and#8221;
Schirman said if Shanley records two top-five World Cup finishes or one podium finish, she’s guaranteed an Olympic berth.
Shanley wasn’t the only member of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team to impress her coach.
At 14 years of age and#8212; the youngest allowed to compete and#8212; Ali Kariotis of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team went toe-to-toe with some of the best moguls skiers in the business. When all was said and done, she had recorded a fourth-place finish overall in the three days of competition.
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Schirman gushed about her performance.
and#8220;She’s 14, and she’s beating some of the top women in the world!and#8221; he said.
Kariotis finished seventh overall on Day 1 with a score of 20.75. She then followed with a 14th-place finish on Day 2 (12.95) and a sixth-place finish in dual moguls on Day 3, when she defeated a National Team member from Japan in her first dual, and posted a 19.09.
By finishing in the top-15 over the course of the three days, Kariotis qualified to compete on the NorAm Cup and#8212; one level below the World Cup.
Veronica Paulsen, 15, also represented the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team well, as she placed 49th in the qualifying round on Day 1, then finished 42nd while increasing her score by more than four points the following day, from a 10.84 all the way to a 14.98.
and#8220;She had a very successful week by hitting all her short-term goals. … She did an amazing job,and#8221; said Schirman, describing Paulsen’s one-day increase in score as and#8220;dramatic.and#8221;
Paulsen was 48th in the dual moguls the final day.
Jake Hickman, another up-and-comer on the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team, also posted solid results in the three-day competion.
and#8220;Jake skied very, very well,and#8221; Schirman said. and#8220;Although he didn’t make the finals, he recorded very respectable scores.and#8221;
Hickman, who’s 15, finished 32nd on the first day with a score of 19.14 and 41st on the second day with a 19.13. In the dual moguls event, he crashed throwing a cork 720 iron cross, and did not record a score.
and#8220;I’m very proud of our skiers,and#8221; Schirman said. and#8220;They all are very young, and in their first or second FIS event ever, they all came out and skied with great confidence at such a early season event and#8230;
and#8220;They all really surprised me in how well they handled the pressure and competition.and#8221;
and#8212; Steve Yingling contributed to this report.
DAY 1 and#8212; Moguls
(Top 16 in qualifying round advance to finals)——-
Qualifying and#8212; 1st place
Finals and#8212; 1st place, 23.63
Qualifying and#8212; 11th place, 19.01
Finals and#8212; 7th place, 20.75
Qualifying and#8212; 49th place, 10.84
Qualifying and#8212; 32nd place, 19.14
Day 2 and#8212; Moguls
Qualifying and#8212; 1st place
Finals and#8212; 1st place, 24.11
Qualifying and#8212; 11th place, 20.45
Finals and#8212; 14th place, 12.95
Qualifying and#8212; 42nd place, 14.98
Qualifying and#8212; 41st, 19.13
Day 3 and#8212; Dual moguls
Qualifying and#8212; 10th place, 19.09
Finals and#8212; 6th place
Qualifying and#8212; 48th, 11.17
Qualifying and#8212; RNS (run not scored)