Lake Louise, Alberta, Dec. 2, 2000--World Cup champion Renate Goetschl of Austria ignored controversy concerning cheating allegationsand won the Winterstart World Cup super G Saturday at Lake Louise Ski Area. Jonna Mendes (Heavenly, CA) was 15th and KirstenClark (Raymond, ME) was 20th as the lone Americans to score points.
Goetschl, who was challenged Friday after a downhill by race-winner Isolde Kostner of Italy because the Austrian may have cheated theprevious day in the season's first downhill, covered the super G course in 1:11.28 for her 17th World Cup win. Regine Cavagnoud ofFrance - fourth in each downhill - was second with a 1:11.41 clocking and Martina Ertl of Germany third in 1:11.81.
Mendes, who was 13th a week earlier at the Chevy Truck Aspen (Colo.) Winternational - the first SG of the season, started 39th andcame home 15th in 1:13.08. Clark was 20th with a time of 1:13.36. Megan Gerety (Anchorage, AK) was 32nd, Alison Powers (WinterPark, CO) and Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) 45th.
Downhill/SG Head Coach Jim Tracy was disappointed, but noted, "The technique's fine, the equipment's fine, the waxing is fine...but wehave to sharpen the mental part. They didn't attack as they could have. The girls have to keep their focus...but it'll come. We're close."
"It's been a good weekend, and certainly another good result for Mendes and Clark," said U.S. Coach Marjan Cernigoj. "Jonna has hadfour straight top-15s and 'Clarky' is skiing well, so we look for it to continue."
Mendes agreed. "I wanted a top-15, so this is good," she said. "It's been a good weekend sixth and ninth in the two downhills, 15th inSG. Super G's not my best event, but it's my favorite - just the one inspection and then you have to go and do it. It's go time, you have onechance to do it. I skied well in Aspen. I'm confident about my skiing."
"I was attacking, but I was attacking on a rounder line," Clark said with a laugh. "I guess I gave the mountain too much respect today....It's a good start - not where I want to be but still okay. Last year being 20th or 21st was good; now, I want more."
The next women's race is a super G Wednesday in Val d'Isere, France, with Olympic Picabo Street (Park City, UT) looking to ski her firstrace since a march 1998 accident in which she tore ligaments in her right knee and broke her left femur.