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For the week of January 24 through 30, 2001

Gerety makes world team, Picabo doesn’t

Quality results shown by 13 American racers

1990 Community School graduate Megan Gerety of Anchorage, Ak. was one of 13 U.S. Ski Team alpine racers named Sunday to the American squad headed over to the 2001 World Championships Jan. 29-Feb. 10 at St. Anton, Austria.

Gerety, 29, joins U.S. women Caroline Lalive, Sarah Schleper, Kristina Koznick, Jonna Mendes and Kirsten Clark. The men going to St. Anton are Daron Rahlves, Erik Schlopy, Chad Fleischer, Bode Miller, Casey Puckett, Jake Fiala and Sacha Gros.

While the U.S. team is one of the smallest in years, it’s one of the deepest in results. Of 13 members, 12 have scored World Cup points. Earning podiums have been Schlopy (GS), Miller (GS), Schleper (GS and SL), Koznick (SL) and Rahlves (DH).

"This is an outstanding team with great experience. Everyone has Olympic and/or worlds experience," said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association vice president/athletes Alan Ashley, announcing the team.

Conspicuous in her absence from the Yank squad was Sun Valley’s Picabo Street, 29, still struggling along but making progress in her comeback from a serious knee injury.

1998 Olympic super giant slalom gold medalist Street was completely in agreement that her comeback had not reached a point where she would be competitive in worlds. She’ll race in Europa Cup events.

Ashley said, "Picabo’s been away for two years and had another knee surgery in November, so she’s disappointed. But she also understands she’s not looking just to attend another world championships.

"She’s got a long-range vision. That’s to be successful again next year at the 2002 Olympics, and she’s still on that track. As Picabo has said, she knows she needs more time on her skis."

Head coach Marjan Cernigoj said, "Picabo has done everything, and she’s continuing to do it all. But every day and every course is a test for her. The mental part is so tough, so relentless, and the knee pain is always there. She’s coming from a place she’s never been."

Street posted her best comeback result Friday—starting 50th and finishing 15th in the women’s DH at one of her favorite hills, Cortina, Italy, where she’s won twice. Having to race back-to-back took its toll in Saturday’s SG. Street faded to 45th.

Meanwhile, it’s been a comeback year for 1994 Olympian Gerety including her season-best fifth-place finish in Friday’s World Cup women’s downhill at Cortina, Italy. With six DHs in the book, Gerety is the top American in 12th place overall with 127 points.

Two-time national DH queen Gerety, an 11th-year national team racer, sat out the 1998 and 2000 World Cup campaigns with knee injuries.

Other team highlights so far and, here’s a surprise—SG is the American’s weakest event:

  • Rahlves, 27, broke up an Austrian podium sweep and tied for third place in Saturday’s 61st annual Hahnenkamm DH—only the second podium ever earned by an American in the famed Kitzbuehel downhill.

  • Schlopy, 28, finished ninth in Sunday’s Kitzbuehel slalom, his best SL result. He has placed fourth and second in GS. In the overall standings after 22 events, Schlopy is 13th with 299 points and Rahlves 21st, 210.

  • Lalive, 21, the team’s lone four-event skier, had four top-10 results in a little over 24 hours Jan. 13-14 and was second in the Haus combined. She is the leading U.S. woman in the overall standings after 25 events with 264 points, three ahead of Koznick.

In related news:

  • Podium performances lifted Schlopy, Schleper, Miller and Mendes onto the U.S. "A" team.

  • USSA and International Ski Federation (FIS) officials on Friday reached agreement to add a second downhill to February’s World Cup men’s event on the 2002 Olympic course "Grizzly" at Snowbasin, Utah.

  • Replacing the canceled Wengen, Switz. DH, the first Snowbasin DH will be Friday, Feb. 23 preceded by two days of training. The second DH will be Feb. 24 and the Snowbasin men’s SG is set for Sunday, Feb. 25.

  • Here are Street’s finishes in seven speed events since her return Dec. 6 in France: SG—34th, DNF and 45th; in DH—24th, 46th, 35th and 15th.


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