March 14, 2007
LENZEREIDE, SWITZERLAND - (USST News Bureau Release) - Austrian Marlies Schild put some distance on two of her three challengers for the women's overall World Cup title Wednesday, finishing second behind World Cup champion Renate Goetschl of Austria in a downhill with Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) fifth and Austrian Nicole Hosp sixth.
"I got a little nervous today, which I normally don't do," she conceded. "The course was a lot easier than I expected, and I definitely could have pushed it a little more.
Goetschl, the World Cup speed queen with both the DH and super G titles this winter, collected her eighth win of the season, 46th of her career, with a time of 1:22.73. Schild, the slalom champion, was timed in 1:23.31 as she gained points on Mancuso and Hosp, who were behind her.
Mancuso: "I could have pushed it harder..."
Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) was 14th in 1:25.46 to finish her season on an up-note while veteran Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME), who won a World Cup downhill at Lenzerheide in 2001, did not start after a training crash Monday. "Kirsten wanted to go, but I'm glad she used her head and didn't race," Head Coach Patrick Riml said.
With three races left, Schild has 1,382 points to 1,327 for Hosp with Goetschl up to 1,300 and Mancuso fourth at 1,296.
"I'm psyched with the way I skied but I could have pushed it harder," Mancuso said. "I wasn't on my skis. The snow was grippy and faster, but easier, too...and I wasn't quite prepared for that."
Although Schild is noted primarily for her gate-running, Mancuso was quick to point out she skied well in Tarvisio, Italy, earlier this month when she was seventh in a downhill, which Mancuso won. "She's skiing well. This wasn't a big surprise for me," she said.
Snow changed during course delays
Missing a gate Tuesday in the second downhill training run affected Mancuso a bit, Riml said, "and it seemed she just showed the course too much respect. She wasn't pushing the line the way she normally does, but fifth is good. The snow changed a little bit with the delays (including a lengthy hold replacing safety meeting when Austrian Elisabeth Goergl went off course), so it got softer and that made things easier...and Jules got caught there.
"You know, it's easy to get a little spoiled sometimes when you've had the success we've had this year, but it's been a great season...and we haven't had Lindsey (Kildow - Vail, CO; out with a knee injury) for the last month, so I'm psyched for these girls. We always want the podium, but Jules has three more chances. She's not done yet."