Mendes to compete in World Cup race |

Mendes to compete in World Cup race

Dana Jo Turvey

PARK CITY, UTAH – Jonna Mendes. Lake Tahoe residents should remember that name. The 18-year-old will race in her second World Cup ski event on Friday at Park City, Utah.

Last year, Mendes started dead last in a World Cup super-G at Mammoth Mountain and still passed more experienced racers for a near top-30 finish.

For her age group, Mendes is currently ranked first worldwide for super-G, second for downhill and third for GS. During preseason training recently at Beaver Creek, Colo., the young racer qualified at the last moment to race in Friday’s GS.

A yearly event, the Park City races host the first men’s and women’s slalom and GS competition in North America. Starting in a field of more than 60, Mendes hopes to fight her way forward for an all-important top-30 finish. World Cup points are only awarded to the top 30 racers in each event, and accumulating those points is what may lead to an Olympic spot.

While watching the men’s GS at Park City on Thursday, an anxious one day prior to her own competition, Jonna Mendes said, “I’m a little nervous because this is not only my second-ever World Cup, but it’s also my first race of the season.

“And Park City isn’t in my backyard, like Mammoth. I’ve probably raced more at Mammoth than anywhere, and I’ve only been here about four times. But it’s pretty exciting to just be here at another World Cup race.”

With skies expected to clear on Friday, Mendes and her teammates should experience better visibility than the men did on Thursday. Heavy snow fell off and on during the GS, causing extremely poor visibility for the guys. Friday should bring blue skies, better snow and hopefully, a top-30 finish for a racer from South Lake Tahoe.

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