Schleper ties for fifth in night slalom
SEMMERING, Austria – Austrian Marlies Schild put together the fastest time on each run to win a World Cup slalom Wednesday night by more than a second while Vail’s Sarah Schleper tied for fifth. Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) was eighth and Kristina Koznick (Eagan, Minn.) 11th.Schild, who captured a giant slalom Tuesday, won in 1 minute, 35.49 seconds with Janica Kostelic of Croatia second (1:36.53). Schleper, fourth behind Schild in the GS, tied with defending World Cup champion Anja Paerson of Sweden under the lights with a time of 1:38.19. World Cup leader Tanja Poutiainen, reaching a podium for the seventh time this season, finished third. Stiegler tied her best World Cup finish, posting a two-run time of 1:39.15, while Koznick finished in 1:39.47.”This was awesome,” head U.S. women’s coach Patrick Riml said. “We had a very small group for slalom and they all were in the top 11. They skied well in the first run and the second run they were attacking. It was a great show.
“For Sarah, you can see she’s feeling better. (She has) no problems with the back and being stronger every day, more confident in each race. These were two great days for her. The girls skied well and we made some more small steps forward tonight.”Schild stokedWith her second win in as many days on home snow, Schild delighted the crowd of about 15,000 Austrians that came to cheer her on at the Hirschenkogel course. “I cannot believe it. It’s amazing,” she said. “When I passed the intermediate, I could hear the crowd scream, so I knew I was fast.”
She set best times in both runs, outpacing Poutiainen in the first by 0.92 seconds and Kostelic in the final run by 0.06 seconds.”I was beaming with self-confidence after yesterday’s win,” Schild said. “Thanks to this boost in confidence I am much cooler now.” With her two back-to-back wins, Schild is now fifth in the slalom standings and third overall.Former overall World Cup winner Petra Kronberger was the last Austrian to win a giant slalom and a slalom in 24 hours, when she triumphed in Val Zoldana, Italy, in December 1990.Schild had a bad start to the season, failing to finish either of the opening slaloms in Aspen.
“I knew I skied too aggressively. I have managed to calm down,” she said.The next World Cup races for the women are a pair of downhills set for Jan. 6-7 in Santa Caterina, Italy.The Associated Press contributed to this reportVail Colorado