Paralympic stars return for U.S. disabled ski teams


Eighteen athletes, including Paralympic gold medalists Laurie Stephens, Kevin Bramble, Allison Jones and Stephani Victor, have been named to the 2007 U.S. disabled alpine ski team. The cross-country squad will have eight skiers, led by Steve Cook, who took home three medals, including a pair of gold, from the 2006 Paralympics, U.S. disabled ski team Program Director Sandy Metzger announced.
EIGHTEEN ATHLETES
, including Paralympic gold medalists Laurie Stephens, Kevin Bramble, Allison Jones and Stephani Victor, have been named to the 2007 U.S. disabled alpine ski team. The cross-country squad will have eight skiers, led by Steve Cook, who took home three medals, including a pair of gold, from the 2006 Paralympics, U.S. disabled ski team Program Director Sandy Metzger announced.
    The 2007 team will be riding numbers from a dominant season in which Americans tallied 14 World Cup victories (from five different skiers) and 25 other top 3s, six World Cup titles and eight other top-3 final results in World Cup disciplines. At the Paralympics, U.S. disabled alpine and cross-country skiers collected 11 medals, including seven gold (from seven skiers).
    “It’s amazing to see a team that betters their results every season,” Metzger said. “This team has proven veteran success with skiers like Laurie Stephens, Steve Cook, Stephani Victor and Chris Devlin-Young, but there are also a number of young skiers like Tyler Walker and Kelly Underfkofler, who are paving the way for the next generation of success.”
    The alpine team also has named Ray Watkins to the head coach position, replacing Kevin Jardine, who resigned after three years as U.S. head coach and four seasons as World Cup coach. The cross-country squad is led by Jon Kreamelmeyer, who is in his 10th year as head coach.

The 2007 U.S. disabled ski team (age, hometown and * if a Paralympian):

Alpine men
A team – Kevin Bramble (34, sit-ski; Truckee, Calif.*), Chris Devlin-Young (44, sit-ski; Campton, N.H.*), Monte Meier (35, standup; Park City, Utah*), George Sansonetis (33, standup; Fraser, Colo.*) and Tyler Walker (20, sit-ski; Franconia, N.H.*).

B team – Carl Burnett (25, sit-ski; Cape Elizabeth, Maine*), Nick Catanzarite (29, sit-ski; Mishawauka, Ind.*).

C team – Ralph Green (29, standup; Brooklyn, N.Y.*), Gerald Hayden (26, sit-ski; Fresno, Calif.*), Roger Lee (43, sit-ski; Wildomar, Calif.*), Joe Tompkins (38, sit-ski; Juneau, Alaska*), Brad Washburn (19, standup; Highlands Ranch, Colo.*).

Alpine women
A team – Sandy Dukat (34, standup; Chicago*), Allison Jones (22, standup; Colorado Springs, Colo.*), Laurie Stephens (22, sit-ski; Wenham, Mass.*) and Stephani Victor (37, sit-ski; Park City, Utah*).

C team – Hannah Pennington (28, standup; Denver*) and Elitsa Storey (18, standup; Sun Valley, Idaho*).

Cross-country men
A team – Bob Balk (40, sit-ski; Long Beach, Calif.*), Steve Cook (38, standup; Salt Lake City*), Sean Halsted (35, sit-ski; Gig Harbor, Wash.*), Chris Klebl (34, sit-ski; Heber City, Utah*); Greg Mallory (38, sit-ski; Portland, Ore.*) and Dan Perkins (47, standup; North Syracuse, N.Y.).

Cross-country women
A team – Monica Bascio (37, sit-ski; Denver*) and Kelly Underkofler (22, standup; St. Paul, Minn.*).

    Retiring from the team after the Paralympic season are former alpine worlds gold medalist and World Cup champion Clay Fox (standup; Gillette, Wyo.) and former Paralympic, worlds and World Cup champion Lacey Heward (sit-ski; Boise, Idaho). Paralympic cross-country veterans and World Championships medalists Candace Cable (sit-ski; Truckee, Calif.) and Mike Crenshaw (standup; Boulder, Colo.) also have retired.
    The Disabled World Cup season opener for nordic skiing is Jan. 11-14 in Vuokatti, Finland, while alpine skiing begins Jan. 16-22 in Aspen, Colo.

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