Bahrke makes history with World Cup trick
Moments later, rookie Nate Roberts of Park City, Utah – the only skier performing a back-full flip – earned his first World Cup victory by .04, leading American men into three of the top four spots.
U.S. skiers had five men and five women in the 12-skier finals.
“Bahrke lit up the crowd. It was great,” said Coach Liz McIntyre, an Olympic medalist in her own competitive career. “And Nate, moving up from sixth after semis [qualifications], was outstanding, too. It’s a pretty exciting night.”
Bahrke ran into another tough performance from Norway’s Kari Traa, who won with 25.03. Bahrke, who leaped forward from eighth in qualification, was second at 24.50 with Laurel Shanley of Squaw Valley, Calif., in fourth place at 23.72.
After completing her D-spin at the bottom of her run, Bahrke said, “I just screamed. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed like that. I was so-o-o excited.
“It was something I was working hard on all summer. It was cool Liz had the faith in me to let me do it. I knew something good was gonna happen today … I was really excited to throw it.”
She saved the historic moment for her final run, she said, after clicking on it in practice following the qualification run. “It was funny because right after training, I was in the start gate and I’m saying, ‘Let’s go. Let’s go.’
“I was excited I went fairly early [skiing fifth in the inverted order from the qualification round] so I didn’t have to wait longer.”
Fourth place finish for Rahlves
Fifty-two weeks after his first World Cup victory on the same course, Frenchman Antoine Deneriaz overpowered the field Saturday to win a World Cup downhill by nearly a second ahead of five Austrians. Daron Rahlves of Sugar Bowl, Calif., tied for seventh while rookie Bryon Friedman of Park City, Utah grabbed his first top-20, finishing 19th.
Deneriaz finished in 1:52.99 with Michael Walchhofer runnerup in 1:53.88. World Cup leader Hermann Maier was fifth. Rahlves tied Austrian Klaus Kroell for seventh in 1:54.27 and Friedman, in his first season on the tour fulltime, finished 19th in 1:55.26 with Jake Fiala of Frisco, Colo., tied for 31st and Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., 52nd.
“Daron was clearly podium-bound,” head coach Phil McNichol said. “He came through Ciaslat [SHAZ-lott, the mid-section] second and he…was…flying. And then he just made a mistake, went wide, and finished seventh, but he’s clearly skiing well. His skis are going fast and he’s challenging for the podium all the time…”
Rahlves was pleased with a fourth and a seventh because he and Val Gardena have not been on the best of terms, although he was 11th in the DH a year ago.
“I had a good race going, made a couple of mistakes and – poof! – it’s gone,” Rahlves said.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.