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Lienz: Marlies Schild crushes women's slalom; Kristina Koznick fourth

Lienz: Marlies Schild crushes women’s slalom; Kristina Koznick fourthLIENZ, Austria Marlies Schild of Austria handily won the Lienz slalom Thursday, winning both runs and ending up more than a second ahead of her teammate Niki Hosp.

The American women missed the podium, but skied strong on the day that their teammate Daron Rahlves was winning a downhill on the men’s tour.

Schild won in 1 minute, 57.92 seconds, with Hosp 1.02 seconds behind. Janica Kostelic of Croatia was third with a time of 1:59.65. The discipline and overall standings leader, Anja Paerson of Sweden, crashed on the first run.

Kristina Koznick was the top American, finishing fourth, just 0.16 seconds off the podium. Lindsey Kildow was eighth, and Sarah Schleper was 14th – a brilliant result for her second race of the season (Schleper had been out with chronic back problems thus far; click here for more.)

“I guess I was all bummed because of Aspen and Czech because I’ve been training fast and today first run I just gave too much away, but it’s good,” Koznick said. “My goal second run was to come down and see the green light, because that’s a feeling you need to be getting and you need to feel. So when I came down and saw the green light, I was even more excited it was by nine-tenths. … It’s awesome. I moved up second run and we’re totally moving in the right direction.”

Koz wasn’t complaining of spending the holiday away from her family.

“We were all in the car … and we were like ‘Are we the only ones working on Christmas you think?’ ” she said. “But you know what? These guys are my second family, so really if I can’t be at home with my family, then this is the next place I’d like to be. Training went awesome and maybe that was my Christmas gift.”

Kildow, too, had reason to savor a top-10 finish. “It was nice. It was good to have a good feeling and a good rhythm,” Kildow said. “I’ve been doing well in training and I feel I really put it down in the race. It was my best skiing so far this year, I think, in slalom.”

Among the other Americans who qualified for the second run, Julia Mancuso was 15th, Lauren Ross 23rd and Resi Stiegler a distant 26th after hiking to a gate that she had missed.

Jess Kelley continued to be plagued with races where she nearly qualifies for the second run. On Thursday, she missed the top-30 cutoff by 0.78 seconds.

Kaylin Richardson did not finish the first run, which was set by Tanja Poutiainen’s coach.

The Swiss team reached a new low in the race. The team’s only starter, Sandra Gini, started 51st and crashed early on.

The race was the second in a pair of technical races at the Austrian resort. The women raced giant slalom on Wednesday.

Women’s slalom
Lienz, Austria
Dec. 29, 2005

1. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:57.92
2. Nicole Hosp, AUT 1:58.94
3. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:59.65
4. Kristina Koznick, USA 1:59.81
5. Kathrin Zettel, AUT 1:59.99
6. Tanja Poutiainen, FIN 2:00/76
7. Laure Pequegnot, FRA 2:01.70
8. Lindsey Kildow, USA 2:01.71
9. Anna Ottosson, SWE 2:01.75
10. Chiara Costazza, ITA 2:01.89
11. Sarka Zahrobska, CZE 2:02.06
12. Nika Fleiss, CRO 2:02.13
13. Monika Bergmann-Schmuderer, GER 2:02.33
13. Sarah Schleper, USA 2:02.33
15. Julia Mancuso, USA 2:02.83
16. Vanessa Vidal, FRA 2:02.84
17. Trine Bakke Rognmo, NOR 2:02.92
17. Henna Raita, FIN 2:02.92
19. Anne-Sophie Barthet, FRA 2:03.10
20. Ana Jelusic, CRO 2:03.23
21. Andrea Fischbacher, AUT 2:04.05
22. Jessica Walter, LIE 2:04.24
23. Lauren Ross, USA 2:04.35
24. Tina Maze, SLO 2:04.36
25. Lisa Bremseth, NOR 2:05.29
26. Resi Stiegler, USA 2:20.24
Other North Americans:
DNF 1st: Kaylin Richardson, USA; Brigitte Acton, CAN.
DNQ 2nd: Britt Janyk, CAN; Jessica Kelley, USA.

THE SCOOP
By Hank McKee

Equipment
Women’s slalom, Lienz, Dec. 29, 2005
Skier, skis/boots/bindings 1. Schild, Atomic/Lange/Atomic 2. Hosp, Volkl/Fischer/Marker 3. Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 4. Koznick, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker 5. Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 6. Poutiainen, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker 7. Pequegnot, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 8. Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 9. Ottosson, Dynastar/Lange/Tyrolia 10. Costazza, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

Women’s slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 29, 2005. … It is the 13th race of the women’s 34 race, two combined World Cup schedule. … It is the third of nine scheduled slaloms. … It is the second of two races scheduled at Lienz.

It is the fifth career win for Marlies Schild. … Fourth in slalom and first in a site that does not start with “S.” … It is her first win of the season but third podium this December. … She is 24 from Saalfelden. … She has been third in the final slalom standings in each of the last two seasons. … It is the 11th win of the season for Austria.

It is the 18th career World Cup podium for Nicole Hosp. … Her seventh in slalom. … It is her second straight second-place finish, also placing second in the Lienz GS Dec. 28. … It is her sixth scoring result of the season, five of them top-seven placings.

It is the 43rd career podium for Janica Kostelic. … But just her seventh third-place finish. … It is her first podium in four scoring results at Lienz. … It is her fifth podium of the season. … It is her third podium of the season in the three women’s slaloms held. … She had been second in the five previous Cup slaloms she’s finished and has not missed a podium placing in slalom in 13 completed races. … Her last non-podium finish in slalom was a DNF Jan. 20, 2005.

Fourth is the best finish for Kristina Koznick since second in the night slalom at Zagreb Jan. 20. 2005. … She owns 29 career top-four Cup results. … She was also fourth in her first result at Lienz, a slalom Dec. 27, 1997. … She has been second at the site twice (Dec. 28, 1997, and Dec. 29, 2001, both in slalom). … It is the seventh top-10 result of the season for Lindsey Kildow and the first in slalom. … She has one better career placing in slalom, a seventh in Finals at Lenzerheide March 12, 2005. … It is the first result of the season for Sarah Schleper, who had been recovering from back surgery. … It is the 11th scoring result of the season in 13 races for Julia Mancuso. … It is her first Cup result at Lienz ever. … It is the third career Cup scoring result (all in slalom) for Lauren Ross and matches her best finish from Aspen Nov. 28, 2004. … She had not scored since Jan. 20, 2005, at Zagreb. … It is the second scoring result of the season for Resi Stiegler, both in slalom.

Kostelic holds the lead in the World Cup overall standings 592-540 over Anja Paerson (DNF first run). … Michaela Dorfmeister (did not race) holds third at 510. … Kildow is fourth at 429. … Kostelic holds the slalom standings lead 220-200 over Paerson. … Schild moves into third at 160. … Koznick is the top American on the slalom list in ninth with 94 points. … Winning margin was more than a second (1.02). … Fifth place was more than two seconds out.

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