U.S. skiers finish strong in Sestriere
SESTRIERE, Italy - The U.S. Adaptive Alpine Team tallied a total of five podiums in Saturday's super G race in Sestriere. Laurie Stephens (Wenham, MA; sit-ski) and Chris Devlin-Young (Campton, NH; sit-ski) led the way for the U.S. men and women.
The winners for the final race in Sestriere included an array of countries. Japan's Taiki Morii and Stephens won the sit-ski classification. Germany's Gerd Schoenfelder and France's Solene Jambaque won the standing division. The visually impaired category was won by Canada's Chris Williamson and Slovakia's Henrieta Farkasova.
The U.S. posted strong results with six athletes in the top five, four in the top 20, and two in the top 25. Only three U.S. racers ended the day with a DNF, after fighting to finish in hopes of grabbing a solid result.
"We kind of got off to a slow start in Austria," said Head Coach Ray Watkins. "When the chips were there, our guys and girls pulled through. We're excited."
On the men's side, Devlin-Young was a mere four-tenths out of first finishing the race in second. Tyler Walker (Franconia, NH; sit-ski), barely missing the podium, posted a solid fourth place finish.
In the women's classification, the U.S. landed on the podium four times, with a win, a second and two third place finishes. Stephens topped the field with Alana Nichols (Farmington, MN; sit-ski) in third. Allison Jones (Winter Park, CO; standing) grabbed the last spot on the podium, while Danelle Umstead (Taos, NM; visually impaired) raced to second place.
The U.S. Adaptive Alpine Team will compete in World Cup Finals in Aspen, CO before heading up to the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver this coming March.
"We're excited to be coming home and be on our home turf," said Watkins. "Aspen's home and Vancouver is just up the street."
January 23, 2010
1. Taiki Morii, Japan, 1:21.59
2. Chris Devlin-Young, Campton, NH, 1:21.96
3. Martin Braxenthaler, Germany, 1:22.66
4. Tyler Walker, Franconia, NH, 1:24.71
5. Yohann Taberlet, France, 1:25.93
14. Nick Caranzarite, Winter Park, CO, 1:28.93
18. Carl Burnett, Winter Park, CO, 1:30.93
19. Gregory Peck, Wasilla, AK, 1:31.20
DNF: Joe Tompkins, Juneau, AK, Heath Calhoun, Snowmass Village, CO
1. Gerd Schoenfelder, Germany, 1:24.13
2. Vincent Gauthier-Manuel, France, 1:25.02
3. Toby Kane, Australia, 1:25.62
4. Cameron Rahles-Rahbula, Australia, 1:25.71
5. Lionel Brun, France, 1:26.18
19. George Sansonetis, Fraser, CO, 1:30.64
23. Monte Meier, Park City, UT, 1:32.88
24. Ralph Green, Vail, CO, 1:33.67
25. John Whitney, Towson, MD, 1:34.00
Men Visually Impaired
1. Chris Williamson, Canada, 1:32.67
2. Jakub Krako, Slovakia, 1:23.70
3. Jon Santacana, Spain, 1:25.70
4. Miroslav Haraus, Slovakia, 1:26.43
5. Gianmaria Dal Maistro, Italy, 1:27.07
1. Laurie Stephens, Wenham, MA, 1:30.54
2. Claudia Loesch, Austria, 1:31.39
3. Alana Nichols, Farmington, NM, 1:35.16
4. Kunio Obinata, Japan, 1:38.36
5. Daila Dameno, Italy, 2:04.46
DNF: Stephani Victor, Park City, UT
1. Solene Jambaque, France, 1:29.73
2. Lauren Wollstencroft, Canada, 1:29.95
3. Allison Jones, Winter Park, CO, 1:31.67
4. Melania Corradini, Italy, 1:32.61
5. Marie Bochet, France, 1:33.72
Women Visually Impaired
1. Henrieta Farkasova, Slovakia, 1:35.11
2. Danelle Umstead, Taos, NM, 1:42.35