Mancuso wins GS, second gold of nationals
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, Calif. – Julia Mancuso produced the fastest second run Monday and won her second gold medal at the Oroweat U.S. Alpine Championships in 24 hours, capturing the giant slalom by more than a second at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.After an overnight snowstorm left more than three feet of snow on the mountain, the first run was held in soft conditions, which caused a couple of delays in the start. Mancuso, fifth in the first run, relaxed between runs instead of free-skiing in the new powder, then came out and led the final run. Her total time was 2 minutes, 53.46 seconds. Mancuso, who took the combined gold medal Sunday by finishing third in slalom, also extended her own U.S. record of earning a medal in 11 consecutive U.S. Championships races. “Yeah, it’s a nice way to end the season,” she said. “I was skiing powder on that first run. Somebody said it was three to five feet of snow (during the night), but Mammoth did another great job pulling it off. I just wanted to ski my second run more in control. I stayed in the lodge between runs and didn’t go free-skiing, so I wasn’t as tired as I might have been.”Canadian Allison Forsyth was the silver medalist in 2:54.70 and first-run leader Kristina Koznick finished third (2:54.90). Coach Trevor Wagner credited a near-epic team effort by national and club coaches, working with Mammoth’s Race Department staff, to set the course after a night of snowfall.
“We let the course sit overnight and they worked on it with grooming machines and then everyone was out at 7 o’clock and we were pulling B-nets. Really, it was the coolest thing. It’s amazing the race got pulled off,” Wagner said. “It was perfectly sunny for the first run but there was all this fresh snow from the storm and it wasn’t packed down. It was tough, especially tough for the first group of skiers. But as the race went on, the course got a nice groove and even got down to the hard snow. For the second run, we cleaned it up a bit and decided to use the same course. It was tough, the soft snow made it tough to make a dynamic turn.”By the second run, he said, racers had a better chance to make a more solid run because the snow condition was more consistent. “There was some good skiing here and there, and Julia certainly laid down a good one,” Wagner said. “She’s had quite a season and this is a fitting end for her.”The Championships conclude today with the men’s giant slalom. 2005 OROWEAT U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Mammoth Mountain, Calif.Women’s Giant Slalom1. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Calif., 2:53.462. Allison Forsyth, Canada, 2:54.703. Kristina Koznick, Eagan, Minn., 2:54.904. Lindsey Kildow, Vail 2:55.08
5. Bryna McCarty, Concord, Vt., 2:55.326. Shona Rubens, Canada, 2:55.607. Jonna Mendes, Heavenly, Calif., 2:55.808. Kirsten Clark, Raymond, Maine, 2:56.119. Stacey Cook, Truckee, Calif., 2:56.2410. Julia Littman, Vail 2:56.61Vail, Colorado