Shiffrin third in Lienz slalom, Schild wins again, Schleper retires


Mikaela ShiffrinThe U.S. Women’s Ski Team lost some experience today (Dec. 29) but gained whole lot of exciting promise.

It was a bitter, sweet day for the American team in Lienz, Austria as 16-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin earned her first World Cup podium in third place on the same day that her veteran teammate Sarah Schleper skied her final World Cup run.

The victory belonged to Austrian Marlies Schild, who made skiing to her fourth consecutive World Cup slalom win look easy with a 0.79-second advantage over second-place finisher Tina Maze of Slovenia. It was the third win by an Austrian woman on home snow in as many races. Schild won a slalom in nearby Flachau last week and her teammate Anna Fenninger took yesterday’s GS. Today’s victory marked Schild’s 33rd career World Cup win.

“It was very difficult,” Schild told Fisalpine.com. “The second run, the setting was not so easy. You really had to work from the start to the finish. It was a long course.”

The sunny skies that graced yesterday’s GS were replaced by cloudy conditions this morning with light snow during the first run.

The historic day for the Americans was kicked off by a memorable final World Cup run by Schleper, before her teammates got to work.

Shiffrin was the 40th starter but stood 12th after the first run, then put down a nearly flawless second run to cross the line with a temporary lead of more than a half second. In just her eighth World Cup start, she held the lead through the following nine top-ranked racers including overall leader Lindsey Vonn and German Maria Hoefl-Riesch. Shiffrin’s second run was the fastest by 0.24 seconds.

“I feel unbelievably happy,” said Shiffrin, a Colorado native. “I’m just ecstatic, I can’t describe it any other way. It’s been my dream and my goal to be standing next to [Schild] on the podium and I did it.”

After being hoisted on her teammates’ shoulders in the finish area, Shiffrin said she was trying to stay focused on the season ahead. “I’m mainly focused on keeping my head on my shoulders and to keep skiing,” she said. “Those two runs were so much fun today and that’s what it’s all about.”

After standing sixth in the first run, Vonn had a nice lead when she got tripped up in the middle of the second run course and finished tied for 18th. Vonn currently holds a 172-point lead in the overall standings with 612 points. Schild stands second with 440 points while Fenninger trails in third with 368 points.

Resi Stiegler, in the No. 49 bib, was the last woman to reach the second run in 30th place. She got a clean course for the second run and turned it in to a 27th-place result for her first World Cup points of the season.
 
After revealing she would retire this morning, Schleper, a 15-year World Cup veteran, had some fun with her final run down a World Cup course.

Schleper wore a brown dress and a blue Shred helmet decorated with flowers. Her signature roar out of the start was echoed in the finish stadium. After smashing gates with true passion, she stopped midway and picked up her three-year-old son Lasse from Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser and then continued to run the final gates with him in her arms. She gave an extra punch to the last one. She was greeted in the finish area with hugs and flowers from her teammates and competitors.

“I keep saying that I’m so excited that this is my last race but it’s really sad to leave my friends and this crazy incredible lifestyle,” said Schleper, a four-time Olympian and one-time World Cup winner. “My friends on the tour are what I’m going to miss the most for sure.”

“Now that I know that I am retiring, I see all these faces on the tour and it makes me tear up with almost every one I see because I have become so close with so many people,” continued Schleper.
 
The Canadian women continued their solid slalom run as Marie-Michele Gagnon finished 14th for her third top-15 finish of the young season. Erin Mielzynski also broke into the points for the third time this season in 22nd.

The World Cup women’s tour will now go on an unexpected four-day break following the cancellation of a city event planned to take place in Munich Jan. 1. The popular event was canceled due to low snow conditions and warm weather. — Eric Williams

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The SCOOP

by Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 29, 2011
Equipment
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
3 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Geiger, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Moelgg, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
7 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Zuzulova, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
10 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

Women’s World Cup slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 29, 2011. … It is the 11th race of the women’s 40 race 2011-12 World Cup season. … the fourth of 10 scheduled slaloms. … It is the 21st Cup race hosted by Lienz. … the 12th in slalom.

It is the 33rd World Cup win for Marlies Schild. … the 31st in slalom (of 67 completed races). … It is her fourth slalom win of the season in four chances. … She is second all-time among women for slalom wins behind Vreni Schneider’s 33. … It is her second slalom win at Lienz having also won Dec. 29, 2009.

It is the 30th career World Cup podium placing for Tina Maze. … her seventh in slalom. … It is her second podium of the season having also placed third in slalom at Flachau Dec. 20. … It is her second podium at Lienz having placed third in GS Dec. 28, 2005.

It is the second career World Cup score for Mikaela Shiffrin and her first podium. … Her other was an eighth place in slalom at Aspen earlier this season (Nov. 27).  … She is the youngest American on an alpine Cup podium since Tamara McKinney in 1978.

Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her ninth best career score. … and her third best of the season. … Lindsey Vonn matches her 29th best Cup slalom result. … It is the sixth career scoring result for Erin Mielzynski. … Her third of the season all in slalom. … It is the 47th career scoring result for Resi Stiegler. … Her first of the season.

Vonn maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 612-440 over Schild. … Anna Fenninger is third with 368pts. … Gagnon is top Canadian in 29th with 88pts. … Schild leads the slalom standings 400-207 over Maze. … Kathrin Zettel (fifth in race) is third with 200pts. … Shiffrin is the top US skier on the slalom list in 10th with 92pts. … Gagnon the top Canadian in 14th with 71pts.

Images by Gepa

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  7  55590 SCHILD Marlies  1981  AUT   54.62  56.80  1:51.42  0.00
 2  3  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   55.16  57.05  1:52.21  4.33
 3  40  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela  1995  USA   56.16  56.56  1:52.72  7.12
 4  11  206279 GEIGER Christina  1990  GER   55.42  57.33  1:52.75  7.28
 5  6  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin  1986  AUT   55.65  57.21  1:52.86  7.88
 6  9  296259 MOELGG Manuela  1983  ITA   55.34  57.81  1:53.15  9.47
 7  5  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria  1986  SWE   55.96  57.25  1:53.21  9.80
 8  4  705287 ZUZULOVA Veronika  1984  SVK   56.68  56.60  1:53.28  10.18
 9  2  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   55.51  57.90  1:53.41  10.89
 10  14  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela  1985  AUT   56.23  57.26  1:53.49  11.33
 11  15  505610 BORSSEN Therese  1984  SWE   56.20  57.37  1:53.57  11.77
 12  30  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie  1992  SWE   56.07  57.69  1:53.76  12.81
 13  1  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja  1980  FIN   56.29  57.65  1:53.94  13.80
 14  19  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN   56.58  57.42  1:54.00  14.12
 15  24  515997 FEIERABEND Denise  1989  SUI   56.01  58.17  1:54.18  15.11
 15  10  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida  1985  SWE   56.46  57.72  1:54.18  15.11
 17  43  196725 BARIOZ Taina  1988  FRA   56.82  57.56  1:54.38  16.21
 18  27  206355 DUERR Lena  1991  GER   56.65  57.78  1:54.43  16.48
 18  16  537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA   55.60  58.83  1:54.43  16.48
 20  20  206035 CHMELAR Fanny  1985  GER   56.73  57.71  1:54.44  16.53
 21  25  56032 SCHILD Bernadette  1990  AUT   56.56  57.89  1:54.45  16.59
 22  28  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin  1990  CAN   56.72  57.76  1:54.48  16.75
 23  22  195972 AUBERT Sandrine  1982  FRA   56.91  57.62  1:54.53  17.03
 24  60  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   56.87  57.69  1:54.56  17.19
 25  47  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna  1991  SWE   56.82  57.91  1:54.73  18.12
 26  18  55690 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   56.02  58.89  1:54.91  19.11
 27  49  537772 STIEGLER Resi  1985  USA   57.25  57.68  1:54.93  19.22
 28  36  56059 DEPAULI Jessica  1991  AUT   57.02  58.85  1:55.87  24.36
 29  17  196928 WORLEY Tessa  1989  FRA   57.18  58.79  1:55.97  24.91
 30  8  205168 DUERR Katharina  1989  GER   56.99  59.46  1:56.45  27.54
Did not qualify 1st run
   75  516319 SUTER Corinne  1994  SUI         
   74  155699 PAULATHOVA Katerina  1993  CZE         
   73  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena  1990  SRB         
   72  537792 DUKE Hailey  1985  USA         
   71  185271 LEINONEN Sanni  1989  FIN         
   70  506350 EKLUND Nathalie  1992  SWE         
   69  65038 PERSYN Karen  1983  BEL         
   68  516219 NUFER Priska  1992  SUI         
   66  516109 VOGEL Nadja  1990  SUI         
   65  196812 PELLISSIER Marion  1988  FRA         
   64  297910 CURTONI Elena  1991  ITA         
   63  485570 SOROKINA Anna  1990  RUS         
   61  705349 GANTNEROVA Jana  1989  SVK         
   59  107044 IRWIN Madison  1991  CAN         
   58  565360 STUHEC Ilka  1990  SLO         
   57  565320 FERK Marusa  1988  SLO         
   56  297601 BRIGNONE Federica  1990  ITA         
   55  206290 HUEBNER Monica  1990  GER         
   54  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona  1991  AUT         
   53  205239 WIRTH Barbara  1989  GER         
   52  206174 STABER Veronika  1987  GER         
   51  435189 KLUS Aleksandra  1986  POL         
   48  106183 TERWIEL Elli  1989  CAN         
   44  305944 KIYOSAWA Emiko  1983  JPN         
   42  306096 HOSHI Mizue  1985  JPN         
   41  55807 DAUM Alexandra  1986  AUT         
   38  516280 HOLDENER Wendy  1993  SUI         
   37  536481 SCHLEPER Sarah  1979  USA         
   35  106633 GOODMAN Anna  1986  CAN         
   34  206099 PERNER Nina  1986  GER         
   33  355040 NIGG Marina  1984  LIE         
   29  55977 THALMANN Carmen  1989  AUT         
   26  295435 GIUS Nicole  1980  ITA         
   23  296509 CURTONI Irene  1985  ITA         
   21  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA         
   13  155415 ZAHROBSKA Sarka  1985  CZE         
Did not finish 1st run
   67  56143 DYGRUBER Julia  1991  AUT         
   62  505908 SMEDH Veronica  1988  SWE         
   50  55898 BREM Eva-Maria  1988  AUT         
   46  196803 MOUGEL Laurie  1988  FRA         
   45  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara  1984  ITA         
   39  196016 DAUTHERIVES Claire  1982  FRA         
   32  516138 GUT Lara  1991  SUI         
   31  537545 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA         
   12  196806 NOENS Nastasia  1988  FRA         

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