Marco Sullivan ties for third in national super-G
March 21, 2003
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Versatile Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., skiing No. 1, ignored steady rain and tricky visibility Thursday to win the men’s super G — his fourth U.S. title in his fourth different event — at the Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface Mountain.
ESPN will televise coverage from the championships at April 4.
Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley tied for third.
Miller, who won three medals at the World Championships last month in Switzerland to go with his two Olympic silvers from a year ago, previously had won slalom, GS and combined titles. He won the super-G in 1 minute, 18.99 seconds with Jake Fiala of Frisco, Colo., taking the silver medal in 1:19.30.
There was a tie for the bronze medal at 1:19.50 between two other U.S. Ski Team racers — Scott Macartney of Redmond, Wash., who also was bronze medalist Wednesday in downhill and Sullivan, the defending SG champion.
The poor weather, which delayed the start of the men’s SG by two hours, forced organizers to postpone the women’s super G to Friday.
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“The weather and the visibility, I didn’t think, was that bad but it was just a tough course. The snow was pretty fast,” said Miller, who was fourth in the DH a day earlier. “It was a tactically challenging course…
“It was really tough. The snow was kinda peely because it was wet on the top and you had a lot of speed and the turns were big, so if you got behind it, there was no way to catch-up.”
Fiala said he cost himself some time by wiping rain off his goggles during the race, “but Bode’s had a great year to be second to him, just .3 back, is good. I’m pleased with that.”
The weather created and hard, slick course “but that’s what we see on the World Cup. I’ve raced super G in Garmisch [Germany] in the rain and it’s what you have to be prepared for.”
Macartney, the Nor Am super G champion who returns to classes Tuesday at Dartmouth College where he’s a senior majoring in economics, said, “We were sitting in the lodge [at the start] looking out at sideways rain and thinking this just was not gonna happen. You always want to keep a positive attitude, like ‘This is gonna go’ because you don’t want to make the mistake of getting yourself out of the race sand saying it’s not going to happen and then, 10 minutes later, having to get ready. So, I think we were all optimistic it would happen but being realistic, too, with the weather.”
“It was a tough day. …It was raining pretty hard. It left up a little at the end but for the first 30, it was really raining.”
Macartney, who races with his left thumb in a modified cast because of an injury said the course crews from the New York Ski Education Foundation and the Olympic Regional Development Authority “was just busting their butts. They were working so hard. The course workers worked their asses off.”
“The best skiers had the best results,” said John McBride, U.S. men’s downhill/SG head coach, who set the course. Organizers, who had hoped to run from the top of the super G course, dropped the start for safety reasons before the race as poor weather moved into the northern Adirondacks.
“Conditions were tough, no question, but I’m not happy to see 24 finishers and 47 DNFs [Did Not Finish],” McBride added. “But maybe that’s also a wake-up for what some of these racers have to learn to handle…and how important it is to keep your focus…
“There weren’t a lot of surprises but I’ll tell you who caught my eye was Jesse Marshall [Pittsfield, VT], who was sixth. He’s skied outstanding slalom and some good GS, but he showed me some good things today,” the coach said.
The championships also double as the J1 national championships. Jeremy Transue (Hunter, NY), who was seventh in the field of 71, was top junior.
The women’s race was scheduled to begin Friday at 9:30 a.m. EST, weather permitting. About 250 skiers from Alaska to New England will be competing at the championships, which returned to Lake Placid for the first time since 1979.
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