Truckee’s Rahlves ninth at World Freestyle Championships | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Truckee’s Rahlves ninth at World Freestyle Championships

NAWASHIRO, Japan ” The U.S. Ski Team’s Casey Puckett (Aspen, Colo.) kicked off the 2009 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships with a fifth-place finish in ski cross Monday in Japan.

Austria’s Andreas Matt won gold.

“Obviously we are disappointed that we didn’t land someone on the podium, especially after the start we had today,” U.S. Ski Cross Head Coach Tyler Shepherd said. “Daron (Rahlves) led the qualifying for our team in fourth followed by Jake Fiala (Frisco, Colo.) in 15th and Casey in 16th. Getting all three guys in is half the battle these days with how deep the fields have become. We can’t take anything for granted.”

Puckett led the way for teammate Rahlves to also finish the event within the top 10. Puckett won the first runs of the day before coming in fourth in the semi-final and being relegated to the small finals of the event.

“Casey was right back on top for the small final and skied like he did in earlier rounds, winning out of the start and never looking back,” Shepherd said. “Had Casey reached the final today, I think he would have been pretty hard to beat.”

Thomas Zangerl of Austria took the silver in Monday’s event followed in third by Canada’s Davey Barr. Rahlves was ninth.

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In the women’s ski cross, Canadian Ashleigh McIvor took the World Championship gold followed by Karin Huttary of Austria with the silver and Meryl Boulangeat of France was third. No U.S. women competed in the World Championships in Japan.

“We will now travel home for a few days of rest before heading over to Europe to finish out the year and hopefully get a win before the season’s end,” Shepherd said.

The action in Japan continues Wednesday at the 2009 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships with men’s and women’s aerials.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

2009 FIS FREESTYLE SKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Inawashiro, Japan – March 2, 2009

Ski Cross

Men

1. Andreas Matt, Austria

2. Thomas Zangerl, Austria

3. Davey Barr, Canada

4. Christopher DelBosco, Canada

5. Casey Puckett, Aspen, CO

9. Daron Rahlves, Sugarbowl, CA

21. Jake Fiala, Frisco, CO

Women

1. Ashleigh McIvor, Canada

2. Karin Huttary, Austria

3. Meryl Boulangeat, France

4. Sasa Faric, Slovenia

5. Kelsey Serwa, Canada