Hunter, N.Y, Jan. 3, 2001 -- U.S. Ski Team member Courtney Calise (Littleton, NH), fully recovered from a nagging groin injury that has plagued her career the past few season, was the top American at the Chevy Truck Super Series women's giant slalom at Hunter Mountain Thursday.
"I'm fully recovered - and it's the first time in a long time that I can say that - and now I'm just out here having fun again," Calise said after finishing second to Canada's Sophie Splawinski for her career-best Super Series finish. "I am extremely excited. I just put the hammer down and had a few good runs."
Outdoor Life Network will televise the women's giant slalom races Feb. 14 8 p.m. (EST).
Splawinski (Montreal, QC), a 16-year-old Mont Tremblant Ski Club racer, won $1,5000 with her first career Super Series victory with a combined two-run time of 2:16.23. Calise was second at 0.32 and pocketed $1,000, followed by Canadian Development Team member Julie Langevin (Mont Tremblant, QC) in third at 0.39 and winning $500. U.S B Team member Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was fourth as Gail Kelly (Quebec City QC) finished fifth.
Langevin led after the first run with a time of 1:07.01 and started 30th in the flip-30 format on a hard-packed Cliff/Eisenhower trail. Fortunately for Splawinski and Calise, she failed to capitalize on her 1.26-second advantage. Splawinski had the fasted second-run time by almost a full second.
"I made some huge mistakes and my top section wasn't good," Langevin said. "My middle section was OK and then mistake after mistake again - it just wasn't great skiing for me on the second run."
Splawinski, starting 20th in the second run, overtook the lead by more than two second over then race leader Alexandra Munteanu (Rumania) with a second run time of 1:07.96 and then held on as 10 racers tried to knock her off the top step of the podium.
"I had a lot more confidence in my skis and I felt a lot better throughout the entire run and the course was set really well," Splawinski said. "It was a great feeling of relief. All that training has finally paid off. But (the victory) really hasn't sunk in yet."
U.S. Development Team head coach Aldo Radamus was pleased with Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) in 14th place, but he knows his squad can do better.
"The first run they skied a little bit nervous. They came out and were a little bit cautious," Radamus said. "The second run they picked it up a little bit. It was a more difficult course on the second run, so that separated things a little bit more. But the girls came out and skied ?more like themselves.
"Well the results were decent, but of course we would like to see better. We think they are capable of better, and hopefully we'll see that tomorrow," Radamus concluded.
The Chevy Truck Super Series at Hunter Mountain continues Friday with the second giant slalom race beginning at 9:45 a.m. for the first run and 1 p.m. for the second. Slalom racing takes place Saturday and Sunday with the first run at 10 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m.
With the victory, Splawinski moves into a tie for ninth place in the overall Chevy Truck Super Series Standing. Calise moves into 11th. The overall Chevy Truck Super Series winner will receive $10,000 at the Super Series Finals in Aspen, Colo. Feb. 1-4.
The Chevy Truck Super Series is the U.S. portion of the FIS NorAm Cup, one of five International Ski Federation Continental Cup series worldwide (others: Europa Cup, South America Cup, Australia/New Zealand Cup and Far East Cup). The top two overall athletes in the NorAm standings in each of the four disciplines (slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill) earn World Cup starting positions for the following season.
CHEVY TRUCK SUPER SERIES
Hunter Mountain, N.Y.
Jan. 3, 2002
Women's Giant Slalom Overall Standings Giant Slalom Standings
1. Sophie Splawinski, Canada, 2:16.23
2. Courtney Calise, Littleton, NH, 2:16.55
3. Julie Langevin, Canada, 2:16.62
4. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, Ca, 2:17.24
6. Hilary McCloy, Waitsfield, VT, 2:17.72
7. Jessica Kelley, Starksboro, VT, 2:17.81
8. Jamie Kingsbury, Moretown, VT, 2:17.96
9. Alexandra Munteanu, Rumania, 2:18.40
10. Christin Lathrop, Conway, NH, 2:19.02
1. Veronika Zuzulova, Slovakia, 58 points
2. Carina Raich, Austria, 50
3. Genevieve Simard, Canada, 49
4. Elisabetta Biavaschi, Italy, 48
5. Silke Bachman, Italy, 45
5. Spela Pretna, Slovenia, 45
7. Tanja Poutianen, Finland, 40
8. Vanessa Vidal, France, 34
9. Susan Ekman, Sweden, 30
9. Karin Koeller, Austria, 30
9. Sophie Splawinski, Canada, 30
12. Courtney Calise, Littleton, NH, 29
13. Kristina Koznick, Burnsville, MN, 28
13. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 28
13. Christine Sponring, Austria, 28
1. Sophie Splawinski, Canada, 30 points
2. Courtney Calise, Littleton, NH, 29
3. Julie Langevin, Canada, 28
4. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 27
5. Gail Kelley, Canada, 26
6. Hilary McCloy, Waitsfield, VT, 25
7. Jessica Kelley, Starksboro, VT, 24
8. Jamie Kingsbury, Moretown, VT, 23
9. Alexandra Munteanu, Rumania, 22
10. Christin Lathrop, Conway, NH, 21
Giant Slalom Standings