Mendes gains second World Cup Finals start |

Mendes gains second World Cup Finals start

Tribune staff report

South Shore’s Jonna Mendes skied to another top-10 World Cup finish and clinched her second spot in the World Cup Finals during a busy weekend of women’s skiing in Innsbruck, Austria.

Mendes’ 18th-place finish in Saturday’s downhill qualified her for the March 12 World Cup Finals downhill in Lillehammer, Norway. Mendes had qualified earlier for the super-G.

The U.S. Ski Team had six women in the downhill’s top 30, led by North Shore’s Julia Mancuso in 11th place.

“It was a really good finish for Julia,” U.S. women’s coach Marjan Cernigoj. “She was one of the earlier starters and she really took advantage of the situation. It was an excellent result for her.”

Mancuso’s 34th-place finish in Friday’s super-G was just enough to get her into the World Cup Finals for the first time. She stood 23rd — only the top 25 qualify — after Friday’s race but had to wait out Sunday’s results since she was en route to France for the World Junior Championships. She wound up 25th in the final super-G standings.

Former Truckee resident Caroline Lalive was injured in a finish line crash Saturday and was taken by ambulance to Innsbruck’s University Klinik.

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Lalive suffered two broken ribs and a possible right knee injury. She was expected to remain hospitalized for a few days, according to U.S. Ski Team Medical Director Melinda Roalstad. She finished 24th.

Mendes’ strong weekend also included an American-best eighth in Friday’s first super-G. She finished the course in 1 minute, 26.89 seconds, .71 behind winner Renate Goetschl of Austria. It was the 26th career victory for Goetschl.

On Sunday, Mendes was 12th in the second super-G and American teammate Kirsten Clark came in ninth. Mendes was timed in 1:29.09, 1.03 behind winner Brigitte Obermoser of Austria.

The women head to Are, Sweden, for a night slalom Thursday and giant slalom Saturday before heading to World Cup Finals March 12-16 in Lillehammer. Then comes the Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships March 20-25 at Whiteface Mountain outside Lake Placid, N.Y.