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Tahoe races lead in World Championships

Charles Levinson, Tahoe World Staff

Tahoe’s racers lead the U.S. ski team nearly across the boards at the World Championships in St. Anton, Austria, and the Junior World Championships in Verbier, Switzerland, last week.

Last week got off on the right foot in Verbier when Julia Mancuso took eighth in the Junior World Downhill. Mancuso, a Tahoe City native and member of the Squaw Valley ski team, was the top U.S. finisher.

The following day in the Worlds Downhill in St. Anton, local hero Daron Rahlves, the Super G world champion, narrowly missed the podium after making a small miscue midway through the race. Rahlves placed fifth. Austrians Hannes Trinkl and Hermann Maier went 1-2.

“I made a mistake but I was really happy with the way I skied, pretty much, like top to bottom,” Rahlves said.

That same day Rahlves was named the United State Olympic Committee’s athlete of the month.

Rahlves came out again the following day to try his hand at the Giant Slalom. Rahlves, a less experienced Giant Slalom skier, was the top American finisher on Thursday, but finished a disappointing 19th. The race was won by Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland.

While Rahlves was struggling with the GS in Austria, the juniors were running the GS in Verbier. Josh Whitham, another Tahoe City native and Squaw Valley skier, led the U.S. pack finishing eleventh. All five American skiers finished in the top 25 in the race which was won by the Austrians. Friday, Whitham placed 34th in the slalom.

The strong week concluded Sunday where it began with Mancuso on course. She would finish seventh in the slalom. Fellow American Lindsey Kildow, of Vail, Colo., finished fifth.


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