Deer Valley, UT, Feb. 7--Veteran Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, MN)used her experience Monday to take the first-run lead in her first lookat the 2002 Olympic slalom course, and went on to win a slalom as theChevy Trucks Alpine Slalom, opening the four-day Super Series Finals,got underway in bright sunshine. Race coverage will be broadcast on NBCat 1 p.m. EST on Feb 13th.
"This was absolutely sweet," Koznick said after collecting the $10,000first place money on Deer Valley Resort's Know You Don't Trail, the 2002SL hill. Her two-run time was 1:23.79 with Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) insecond place in 1:25.16 (and $7,000 richer) while third place went toTasha Nelson (Mound, MN) with a 1:25.91 clocking. Nelson was .01 up oncurrent SL world champion Zali Steggall of Australia with Canadian EmilyBrydon completing the top five in 1:26.26.
With the sunny temperatures flirting with 40 degrees and Koznick,skiing on the same new - shorter (170cm) - skis she used in winning aFIS-B slalom recently in Zauchensee, Austria, she was conservative onher first run because it was her first time on the steep-pitch course.Midway through the run, she let things go, she said, and felt morecomfortable.
"It was fun to feel my skis under my feet again, a really nice feeling.I used these new Volkls in a FIS race, so I'm 2-for-2 with 'em andI'll ski on these for the rest of the season," Koznick said. "This wasfun because the snow was so soft...it was good for us to finally get outof the gate on this course because it is a challenge. Everyone will haveto think about it, so this is an advantage to already be on it."
Schleper echoed the comments about a well-prepared course and howenjoyable it was to be racing on the Olympic hill. "It was so buffed,both runs. It's definitely world class, with a nice side hill at thebottom. It's definitely my style," she said.
The Super Series Finals continue Tuesday with another slalom and thengiant slaloms Wednesday and Thursday across town at Park City MountainResort, the Olympic GS course for '02.
SUPER SERIES FINALS
Deer Valley, UT - Feb. 7
1. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, Minn., 1:23.79
2. Sarah Schleper, Vail, Colo., 1:25.16
3. Tasha Nelson, Mound, Minn., 1:25.91
4. Zali Steggall, Australia, 1:25.92
5. Emily Brydon, Canada, 1:26.26
6. Geneieve Simard, Canada, 1:27.73
7. Sara-Maude Boucher, Canada, 1:28.08
8. Katerina Tichy, Canada, 1:28.78
9. Britt Janyk, Canada, 1:29.09
10. Celine Dole, France, 1:29.37
11. Erin McEachren, 1:30.15
12. Tatum Skoglund, Bellevue, Wash., 1:30.20
13. Elisha Stephens, Park City, Utah, 1:30.84
14. Tove Pashkowski, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 1:30.86
15. Elizabeth Sherry, New London, N.H., 1:31.62