BEAVER CREEK Colo. — Veteran racer Stacey Cook of Truckee earned the top spot for the U.S. Ski Team in Friday’s World Cup downhill at Beaver Creek, Colo., as she finished 19th on a course that has been heralded by the entire field.
Cook finished 2.23 seconds behind Lara Gut of Switzerland, who put down a smooth and aggressive line early in the race to take the victory.
Three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley finished 20th, Laurenne Ross was 22nd and rookie Jacqueline Wiles was 44th in her first World Cup race. Leanne Smith had a podium run going before hooking an edge above the finish jump and pulling off course.
Gut followed up her Friday win with another victory in the super G on Saturday. Smith finished 23rd to lead the U.S. Ski Team, while Cook was 28th and Mancuso 29th.
Rising U.S. star Mikaela Shiffrin capped the weekend by earning her first career World Cup podium in the giant slalom, as she finished runner-up to Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden.
After laying down an inspired first run for the roaring hometown crowd, Shiffrin produced a fluid final run that nearly snatched the win away from Lindell-Vikarby. Shiffrin’s previous best GS result was a sixth in Soelden, Austria, to open this season.
Mancuso made the top 30, advancing to the run final in 28th, but she missed a gate and did not finish her second run.
Ganong leads U.S. in super G
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta — Despite a day of flat light and a late start number, Travis Ganong of Squaw Valley powered through light snow to finish 22nd at the men’s World Cup super G opener Sunday.
Two-time World Cup overall champion Bode Miller finished right behind Ganong in 23rd, while Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal reeled in the victory.
Four-time World Cup giant slalom champion and reigning super G World Champ Ted Ligety was knocked off course in the difficult visibility and did not finish.
On Saturday, Miller posted the top U.S. Ski Team result in the men’s downhill opener, placing 16th, while Italian Dominik Paris carved up the icy and bumpy course to take the victory.
Steven Nyman also earned World Cup points with a 19th-place finish, as did Ganong in 24th and Erik Fisher in 26th.
Truckee’s Hourigan, Danager awarded scholarships
Cook and longtime U.S. Ski Team partner Sun Valley Ski Tools (SVST) recently announced the 2013 Stacey Cook/SVST Scholarship Winners.
Sinead Danager, Trisha Mangan, Rosie Hust, Ali Betsch, Paige Hourigan and Natalie Riffel will receive $1,000 worth of wax and tuning equipment from SVST.
Hourigan and Danagher are both from Truckee.
Hourigan, 14, is a first-year U16 skier who trains with Lake Tahoe Racing, a small private team coached by Aaron Atkins, Hermann Gollner and Tom Arnstein.
Danagher, 15, started ski racing at 9 and has been in love ever since. Shortly after winning two overall season titles in Tahoe League, she moved teams to the Sugar Bowl Academy.
Former SVST athletes include U.S. Ski Team World Cup racers Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley, Erik Fisher and Ryan Cochran-Siegle. The scholarship is now in its eighth season.
For more information on the Stacey Cook/SVST Scholarship program, check out StaceyCook.net.