Laurenne Ross gets a hug from Julia Mancuso after she became the sixth U.S. woman to land a top three in a speed event this season with second in the Garmisch downhill (Getty Images/AFP - Johannes Eisele)
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 2) - Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) became the sixth U.S. Ski Team women's speed athlete to finish in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup top three this season with a stunning second in the Garmisch downhill. With her career first podium, Ross also became the fourth U.S. woman to land her first World Cup podium this season, joining teammates Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO). Slovenia's Tina Maze won the race to eclipse Austrian Hermann Maier's single season World Cup point record and become the third woman in World Cup history to win in all five disciplines in the same season.
Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) finished a stunning second in the Garmisch downhill to become the sixth U.S. women's speed athlete to podium this season.
It was the first top three of her career. Teammates Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) also posted their first podiums this season.
Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) has three downhill wins this season and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) has been on three super G podiums and won super G bronze at the World Championships.
Mancuso was sixth in the race and Cook ninth for three U.S. women in the top 10.
Despite missing the last two downhill races, Vonn continues to lead the downhill standings. Maze is second. Cook fourth, Mancuso ninth, McKennis 10th, Smith 12th and Ross 16th.
McKennis crashed late in her run and was helicoptered off the slope as part of standard FIS procedure. Evaluation revealed a fractured right tibial plateau.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) has three World Cup slalom wins this year, leads the World Cup slalom standings and won World Championships slalom gold.
Slovenia's Tina Maze won the race to boost her World Cup point total to a record 2,024, eclipsing Austrian Hermann Maier's record of 2,000 points that has stood since the year 2000.
Maze also became the third woman in history to win in all five World Cup disciplines in the same season.
Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 9 a.m. ET.
QUOTES Laurenne Ross I really have no idea where I was in the standings before today. I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to know. I just knew that I had to be fast. So I just put it all out on the line and I’m psyched. I’m so happy that I made it and I got on the podium and that I’m going to the finals for downhill too.
It’s so cool to have that support, to have those teammates that are happy for you. And to have them in the finish when I was walking through: it’s just something special. They’re there for you and that means a lot to me.
I haven’t had the best downhill results over the last couple weeks, so I’ve been a little bit tentative with my skiing. So today I knew I had to send it. I knew that if I didn’t give it everything I had I would regret it in the finish. So I just put it all on the line and skied it as fast as I could. It wasn’t perfect, but I was just trying to tuck everywhere I could and find every bit of speed.
[on McKennis crash] Yea that’s so tough, especially when it’s your own teammate that crashes and you’re standing in the start waiting to go. But that’s something that happens all the time for us and it’s just something that you have to block out of your head. You can’t let it get to you up there or you’re not going to have a good run, you’re not going to put it all out there. I was a little sad at first, I kind of let it get to me a little bit, and I was like, ‘No, I need to snap out of it. I need to get in my zone. This is my run.’ I just had to focus. I think that’s really important when something like that happens.
We eat a lot of candy, mostly Skittles and Fruit Loops and try not to get very much sleep. (laughs) I think that’s why this team is so fast.
Alex Hoedlmoser, Head Coach At the beginning of the year we set a goal to have every one of these speed athletes on the podium this season. I actually went up to Chip [White, Speed Head Coach] and tapped him on the shoulder and said 'we did it.' That's a huge accomplishment and its something we all can be really proud of. He's an incredible coach and deserves a lot of credit for the program he's built. This is really promising as we look ahead to Sochi.
The cool thing about today was that we had a plan to respond to our performance in Meribel. Nobody was happy with our performance there and so we put together something special today. Everyone was racing.