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Shiffrin pads overall lead with second-place finish in Lake Louise downhill

December 7, 2019, 7:05 pm
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The Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team women roared back to the top in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday with Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards storming onto the downhill podium in second place—just .13 seconds off of first—and Alice McKennis and Alice Merryweather taking 10th and 11th respectively. Shiffrin’s result also extended her overall World Cup lead to 270 points.

Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria won the downhill with Italy’s Francesca Marsaglia in third. Friday’s winner Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic was just two-hundredths off the podium in fourth.

After tough conditions due to snowfall and poor visibility on Friday, the Lake Louise course crew worked hard overnight to get the track into race shape. “All of us are looking for some redemption after yesterday,” said Mckennis after the morning inspection. “We’re never satisfied unless we’re up near the top. Everyone is looking forward to giving it another shot.”

And the shot rang true, with three U.S. women finding their redemption in top spots.

Even after a long course hold that kept her waiting in the start gate, Shiffrin held her composure to take her first speed podium of the year. “I feel every year I get more experience and I get more comfortable,” Shiffrin said of racing downhill. “Right now, it’s just enjoying it. My goal is to be able to succeed in speed as well, so right now I’m just making a transition and trying to have fun with it.”

In only her second race back from injury, Mckennis was happy to snag a spot in the top 10. “I’m pretty stoked on my run,” she said. “It was definitely a little loose and a little ragged, but I’m really proud of the way I approached the run. I didn’t hesitate at all and I went for it. That’s a huge step for me—to feel that race-day confidence and to trust myself and believe in myself again.”

Merryweather’s 11th place finish was her second-best World Cup result and the second time she has finished in the top 15, showing the world that she’s someone to keep an eye on as the speed circuit continues. 

“Having a full downhill team here is so nice; it’s really fun to have a lot of girls here,” said Merryweather, who was a little bit of a lone ranger on the speed team last year with so many teammates sidelined with injury. “We’ve been bouncing a lot of good energy off of each other. Mikaela on the podium is super exciting, and then to have a full downhill team is so nice. It’s awesome to see four of us in the points and to really feel like we have a speed team again.”

Rounding out the U.S. women, Jacqueline Wiles finished in the points for the second day in a row, taking 29th. Alix Wilkinson was 33rd, Isabella Wright was 36th and Keely Cashman was 37th.

Shiffrin now has seven speed event podiums under her belt—four in downhill and three in super-G—and will be looking for another in Sunday’s super-G. “My super-G is pretty good right now, but it’s also a little tricky to switch from downhill skis to super-G skis and to change the timing a little bit,” said Shiffrin, who won last year’s super-G in Lake Louise. “I’m going to have fun tomorrow and do my best and see what’s possible.”

Women’s super-G

Women’s World Cup

All times EST

Sunday, Dec. 8
11:40 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom run 1, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.comNBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. – Women’s super-G, Lake Louise, Alberta – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.comNBC Sports Gold
2:30 p.m. – Men’s giant slalom run 2, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – Olympic Channel, Olympic Channel.comNBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. – Men’s giant slalom run, Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colo. – NBC
6:00 p.m. – Women’s super-G, Lake Louise, Alberta – NBCSN*

*Same-day broadcast

Note: All televised events to stream across NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA app

Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass, available here: https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/snow.

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