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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2001


American places second in World Cup slalom

Bode Miller breaks 14-year jinx in Aspen

American ski racers had a great showing at the Chevy Truck Winternational World Cup in Aspen, Colorado, Nov. 25-26.

On Monday, Bode Miller shattered a 14-year slalom drought, becoming the first American to place in the top three since 1988 when Felix McGrath was runner-up to Alberto Tomba at Are, Switzerland.

After finishing in 16th on the first run, Miller smoked the second and held the leader position until reigning world slalom champion Mario Matt (AUS) came through in 1:39.08 to win by 6/10ths of a second.

"It’s nice to get that one into the finish," Miller remarked.

Hometown boy became hometown hero Sunday as Casey Puckett finished 14th in a World Cup slalom at Aspen, Colorado.

Puckett paced three Americans in the top 30 in the best World Cup slalom finish of his career. Previously, his best WC slalom finish was 16th in Chamonix, France in 1994.

"I could hear the crowd all the way down the course," Puckett said. "It’s a good feeling."

Despite having to hike back up in order to complete gates, Erik Schlopy (Park City) and Bode Miller (Franconia, N.H.), finished 25th and 26th, respectively.

Puckett was 22nd after the first run and had a strong second effort to finish with a combined time of 1:40.53. He was 9.92 seconds off the first-place pace of Ivica Kostelic of Croatia (1:38.81). Kostelic set a record by coming out of the starting gate 64th to win the race. Never has a competitor come from so deep in the field to post a World Cup win.

Italian Georgio Rocca was second in 1:38.93. Mario Matt was third in 1:39 flat.

The women’s World Cup Tour made a stop at Copper Mountain, Colorado Wednesday and Thursday.

In slalom racing on Thanksgiving, American racer Kristina Koznick (Burnsville, Minn.) tied for sixth place in a race won by Frenchwoman Laure Pequegnot.

Pequegnot, wearing a black armband in memory of her late teammate Regine Cavagnoud, posted a winning time of 1:37.64. Austrians Christine Sponring (1:37.81) and Carina Raich (1:38.72) were second and third in a field of 68.

Koznick, the only American to complete both runs, timed out at 1:39.10.

Starting 50th, Kirsten Clark (2:25.27) of Raymond, Maine claimed ninth place in a women’s giant slalom Wednesday.

Norway’s Andrine Flemmen won the race in 2:23.81. Sarah Schleper of Vail was 30th in 2:27.32.

The speed skiers are on deck for the next round of races on the women’s World Cup tour.

U.S. speed skiers, including Picabo Street, will be at Lake Louise, Canada for a pair of downhills and a super G, Nov. 29-Dec. 1.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.