World Cup racing: Mancuso finishes 13th in super G
December 22, 2008
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland ” Squaw Valley product Julia Mancuso led the U.S. women in a snowy and shortened super G at St. Moritz on Saturday, finishing 13th for her best result in speed events this season.
Lara Gut of Switzerland won the race, collecting her first World Cup victory on the same hill where last year in downhill she dramatically crashed through the finish and still came in third. Gut blazed fearlessly down the track in 57.38 seconds.
Mancuso posted a time of 58.73, while Truckee native Stacey Cook finished in 59.41 to place 31st.
Gut teammate Fabienne Suter was second and Italy’s Nadia Fanchini was third.
The race start was moved down significantly because of snow and fog, shortening the course to just 26 gates, a virtual sprint as far a speed events go.
American Lindsey Vonn skied out of the course in one particular problem spot that claimed many racers, including Caroline Lalive of Steamboat Springs, Canadians Emily Brydon and Kelly Vanderbeek and Switzerland’s Nadia Styger. Some of the crashes verged on downright scary as racers who swung too low on the sidehill were sucked off a bump into a compression.
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Mancuso breezed through the tough section and skied to her most solid speed result of the season so far. After missing time on snow this summer due to injuries, she looks to come back into top form.
“This is another good step in her little comeback of sorts,” Women’s Alpine Head Coach Jim Tracy said. “She took advantage of an early start number when the track was possibly a little bit smoother, she executed her line really well and she charged it. In super G that’s what you have to do, especially in a sprint course like today.”
Tracy said that if everything continues to go smoothly for Mancuso ” that is, her hip and back continue to feel better ” come Cortina time in mid-January she will be right in the top mix of women.
1. Lara Gut, Switzerland, 57.38
2. Fabienne Suter, Switzerland, 58.01
3. Nadia Fanchini, Italy, 58.25
4. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 58.39
5. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 58.43
13. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 58.73
27. Keely Kelleher, Big Sky, Mont., 59.22
31. Stacey Cook, Mammoth, Calif., 59.41
36. Kaylin Richardson, Edina, Minn., 59.64
40. Chelsea Marshall, Pittsfield, Vt., 59.87
48. Leanne Smith, Conway, N.H., 1:00.82
DNF: Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.), Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, Colo.)