Mendes wins two races |

Mendes wins two races

Steve Yingling

Jonna Mendes’ skiing career took an elevator ride up this past week in Lake Louise, Alberta.

After securing the first World Cup points of her career in the super-G on Saturday, Mendes won a pair of Nor Am super-Gs on Sunday.

“It’s been quite a couple of days for me … a lot of fun,” said the 18-year-old Mendes, who lives on the South Shore.

Mendes’ unforgettable weekend started with a 26th-place finish in the super-G and the five World Cup points that go with the top-30 result. The World Cup rookie, who had only one race under her belt entering the season, stands 76th in the overall rankings.

More importantly, Mendes’ performance influenced U.S. coach Jim Tracy to send his promising skier to the circuit’s next stop in Val d’Isere on Thursday.

“Jonna told me on (Friday) night that she wanted to go to Val d’Isere, and I told her, ‘Score points and we’ll talk about it,’ he said.

Despite a difficult starting position, 45th, Mendes showed why she is a threat to make the U.S. Olympic team in the super-G.

“This was a good one for Jonna, especially with that late start. She stuck her nose in there and she pushed it all the way down the run,” Tracy said. “We have to take our victories in little pieces, and this was a victory, for sure.”

Obviously, Mendes was excited about her performance.

“I knew I could do it,” she said. “You just have to be so perfect on the World Cup, but there was a big gap, so there was an opening for me and I took it.”

And if her racing results weren’t enough, ESPN came calling Monday. The total sports network plans to feature Mendes during a Dec. 14 skiing program.

Entering the weekend, Tracy wanted Mendes to focus on winning the Nor Am series super-G title. Perhaps Tracy will have to heighten his expectations of Mendes.

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