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American women dominate

The members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team capped off a solid week of skiing in Steamboat Springs by dominating Thursday’s World Cup slalom at Howelsen Hill.

Americans took the top two spots in the sit-skier and standing-skier classes in the last of four World Cup events that took place in Steamboat Springs this week.

One of the top finishes came from standing skier Sandy Dukat, who followed her third-place finish in Wednesday’s slalom with her first World Cup victory Thursday.

“This is my first one, and it felt great,” Dukat said. “Allison (Jones) and I have been working together closely, so to be first and second, with her behind me, I just love it.”

The two American skiers led the first run, and the skiers’ second trip down the face of Howelsen turned into a showdown between teammates.

“It was a battle,” Jones said after the race. “We both won because we were both right there. It’s not like I didn’t give it my all, and it was a very good race.”

Dukat won the race with a time of 1 minute, 19.30 seconds. Jones was less than a second back at 1:19.68, and Germany’s Reinhild Mller took third with a time of 1:22.66.

Other top Americans in the class were Elitsa Storey in 10th at 1:29.77 and Hannah Pennington in 11th with a time of 1:33.84.

The Americans also dominated the sit-skier class.

After three days of failing to finish a race, top American sit-skier Lacey Heward got on track by winning the final slalom race of the week.

“I’ve had a lot of pressure because of my results from the past,” Heward said.”I’ve won the World Cup overall championship, and I’ve won World Championships, so I know I can do this. I know that I can be the best. I just had to let it all go and say, ‘OK, here I am, and I just need to let it go and do my best.”

She topped teammate Laurie Stephens, who won the first two giant slalom races and was second in Wednesday’s slalom, to earn her first World Cup victory of the season.

“It’s a good feeling. There are so many things to think about, so I just tried to focus on things that are important to me, like my family, my friends, my coaches and my teammates. Coming into the finish, I knew I had a really good run, and that’s all I really cared about.”

Heward finished with a time of 1:22.50, and Stephens was second at 1:24.30.

Germany’s Christiane Singhammer finished third with a time of 1:28.22. American Stephani Victor, who won Thursday’s slalom, ran into some problems near the knoll on her second run when she veered off course. She was able to get back between the gates but finished fifth with a time of 1:39.90.

Spanish skiers took the three spots in the visually impaired class.

Carme Garcia, led by guide Marina Romero, won the race with a time of 1:27.44. Her teammate Anna Cohi, led by guide Moi Gonzalez, was second with a time of 1:32.57. Spain’s Alba De Toro, led by guide Anna Maresma, was third with a time of 1:58.78.

The women will now head to Kimberly, British Columbia, for four more World Cup races.

–To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com


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