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Panorama GS: Mancuso Leads U.S. Women

PANORAMA, B.C. (USST News Release - Nov. 24, 2007) - Olympic champion Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) produced the fifth-fastest second run Saturday to lead four U.S. women into World Cup points in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom at Panorama resort.

As the World Cup began its annual early season visit to North America, Denise Karbon of Italy won in 2:42.71. Mancuso was 10th in 2:44.47 with Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) tied for 12th, Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, VT) 22nd and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA) 25th.

"It was close," U.S. women's Slalom/GS Head Coach Chris Knight said. "'Jules' made a big mistake on the bottom of her first run - it was so dark for the first five or six girls on that first run - and it left her too much to make up. But she let it go in the second run again and moved up to a top-10 finish.

"And having five girls in the second run a GS, including Lauren Ross (Stowe, VT) coming out of that 61st starting position to 18th in the first run - wow! We haven't done that for a while. And even though Lauren caught an edge on the second run and crashed, so she couldn't finish, it should give her confidence. All the girls are skiing well and this was another good day with four in the top 25. We'll take it," Knight said.

Stiegler's 12th-place performance was her second straight top-15 in GS. It nicely complements her progress in combined - she was fourth in one event last season - as part of her ongoing drive to get beyond her traditional strength in slalom, he said.

The women run slalom Sunday with eight U.S. starters: Stiegler, Ross, Mancuso, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN), NorAm SL champion Kiley Staples (Park City, UT), Hailey Duke (Boise, ID) and Sterling Grant (Amery, WI).

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