U.S. women iron out preseason kinks
NEW ZEALAND – The U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team was greeted with eight inches of fresh snow for its two-week, back-to-the-basics training camp at Roundhill Ski Area.
The camp ” the first for the team since a speed camp was held at Mammoth Mountain in May ” welcomes back Olympic champion and Worlds medalist Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley and Lindsey Kildow of Vail, Colo., who missed the end of last season with a knee injury. It concludes later this month at Coronet Peak.
Truckee’s Stacey Cook, who now resides in Mammoth Mountain, and Caroline Lalive, who was born in Truckee and now lives in Steamboat Springs, Colo., are attending the camp, as well as Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, Vt.), Lauren Ross (Stowe, Vt.), Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) and Megan McJames (Park City, Utah).
The main objective of the camp is to work on technical skiing, specifically the slalom and giant slalom disciplines, Head Coach Patrick Riml said.
“It’s always important to give them a break after a long season,” Riml said of his team. “They had all winter on snow and then got a break in the spring. So, now they come to snow again and the girls are fired up.
“We’re doing a lot of fundamentals. We had five days in Mammoth in May and had some outstanding speed work. We couldn’t set a downhill course at Roundhill, but the girls did a lot on the elements of glide turns, some jumps, gliding, skiing rollers at Mammoth. We’ll get back to a full-length downhill in Portillo [Chile] next month.”
Riml is pleased with Mancuso and Kildow.
Mancuso missed last year’s preseason training while recuperating from hip surgery following the 2006 Olympics while Kildow is on snow for the first time since injuring her right ACL in slalom training during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February, where she won two silver medals.
“Lindsey’s knee is holding up well; she prepared herself for coming back and she’s working through her progressions,” Riml said.
“Jules didn’t have any preseason camps last year, so she missed a lot of training. Now she’s getting the training and she’s figuring out her equipment set-up. She’s really fired-up to be on snow this summer.”
Riml was enthusiastic about the way Lalive, the senior member of the women’s squad, and McJames, one of the youngest, are skiing.
Lalive missed the second half of the 2006 Olympic season and all of last winter while recovering from an injury to her left knee, suffered, coincidentally, on the day she was named to her third Olympic Team in January 2006.
“She just turned 28 but she’s the oldest on the Team, now that [Kirsten Clark] has retired,” Riml said. “Caroline’s such a good team member. She’s fun and she’s pushing it hard. She’s excited to be back on snow and not have any medical issues. You can see her progress every day.”
Sylas Wright contributed to this report