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Disabled WC: Stephens, Devlin-Young roll in South Korea

Disabled WC: Stephens, Devlin-Young roll in South Korea{mosimage}YONG PYEONG, South Korea – Sit-skiers Laurie Stephens (LW-12/1; Wenham, Mass.) completed a sweep in the giant slaloms and super G’s Friday with her fourth straight victory as the disabled alpine World Cup schedule ended its first stop of the season while Chris Devlin-Young (LW-12/2; Campton, N.H.) made it two straight in super G.

Stephens, the reigning World Cup overall and speed champion from a year ago – when there was only one downhill, so the result was added to the super G tally – overtook Kuniko Obinata of Japan to narrowly win by .22 with an adjusted time of 1:25.07. Stephani Victor (LW-12/2; Park City, Utah) reached her fifth straight podium, finishing third.

Devlin-Young topped the male sit-skiers with a time of 1:15.33 with Robert Froehle (LW-11) of Austria second for the second straight day.

Allison Jones (LW-2; Colorado Springs, Colo.) – finishing the week with two wins and three third-place finishes – was third among women standups, a race won by Canadian Lauren Woolstencroft. Elitsa Storey (LW-2; Ketchum, Idaho) was fifth, matching her fifth from Thursday’s SG, the best result of her career.

‘I’m shocked’ Jones said of her return, ‘but I had expected to perform well despite the long travel to get here. I’m looking forward to continuing with the streak in Japan.’

U.S. coaches look for a pick-me-up in Japan as the U.S. delegation has adjusted to the lengthy travel and myriads delays in Tokyo on the way to Korea. ‘Now that we’re acclimated to Asia, I look for even better results from everyone’ said coach Ray Watkins. ‘Starting the trip with a 27-hour layover in the Tokyo airport, arriving at 5 a.m. and skiing by 7:30 was extremely challenging. But they kept their focus and intensity level high. It’s been impressive to watch them perform … and we all feel it’s going to get even better.’

The athletes race another slalom and two more giant slaloms at Shiga Kogen in Japan before returning home for rest and the final tuneups before the Paralympics in March.

- Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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