U.S. Ski Team announces roster for 2004-05 season
Reigning world and World Cup giant slalom champion Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves – the most successful U.S. men’s downhill and super-G racer Ð head a group of 39 skiers named to the U.S. Alpine Team for the 2005 season, program director Jesse Hunt announced. Miller and Rahlves finished fourth and fifth respectively in the overall World Cup standings and will be contenders next season for the overall title.
Locally, Sarah Schleper is back for her ninth season, while Lindsey Kildow finally cracked the A Team roster.
The group includes 22 men and 17 women on the national team and two men and three women on the development team. The U.S. Alpine Team for 2005:
n Women: A Team – Kirsten Clark, Kildow (Vail), Kristina Koznick, Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs), Libby Ludlow, Bryna McCarty, Jonna Mendes, Schleper (Vail) and Resi Stiegler.
n B Team – Stacey Cook, Julia Mancuso, Kaylin Richardson and Lauren Ross.
n C Team – Caitlin Ciccone, Katie Hitchcock, Keeley Kelleher and Jessica Kelley.
n Men: A Team – Jake Fiala (Frisco), Bryon Friedman, Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, Tom Rothrock, Erik Schlopy, Dane Spence and Marco Sullivan.
n B Team – Jimmy Cochran, Chip Knight, Ted Ligety, Scott Macartney, Jesse Marshall and Steve Nyman.
n C Team – Nick Baker , Wade Bishop (Winter Park), Kevin Francis, Jeff Harrison, TJ Lanning, Jeremy Transue, Andrew Weibrecht and Jake Zamansky (Aspen).
n The U.S. Alpine Development Team: Men – Chris Beckmann and Evan Weiss. Women – Shelley Glover, Chelsea Marshal and Ashley Spina.
On the women’s side, Clark leads a team marked by its depth, according to Hunt. The women finished third in the Nations Cup last season. Nine women qualified for the A Team, the largest number of athletes since 1992. Clark finished third in a World Cup GS and ninth in the World Cup downhill standings. Kildow and Schleper also had podiums last season.
The women’s team will move forward with Patrick Riml heading up the Tech Team as well as being the women’s head coach. There will be no replacement for Wolfgang Erharter, former women’s slalom/GS head coach.
Miller, who won gold in the GS and combined, and silver in super-G at the 2003 World Championships, won six events last season (four giant slaloms, two combined tallies) and collected the first World Cup title by an American man since Phil Mahre won the overall, GS and combined championships in 1983. The Carrabassett Valley Academy product has won 12 World Cup events in his career, second to Mahre in career wins.
Rahlves was a four-time winner last season – twice in downhill, twice in super-G – as he finished runnerup in downhill for the second straight season and was second in the super-G standings as well. Both are the best U.S. rankings in those disciplines to date.
“This is a well-balanced team with proven success,” Hunt said. “We had 10 World Cup victories last season and 20 podiums, and more success at the Europa Cup and Nor Am levels as well as taking the team trophy (the Marc Hodler Trophy) at World Junior Championships. Bode and Daron had great seasons, for sure, but it wasn’t a one- or two-man show or just World Cup success. We talk about winning at every level and we were doing that.”