(l-r) Laurenne Ross, Leanne Smith, Julia Mancuso, Stacey Cook, Alice McKennis and Lindsey Vonn won the nations downhill standings by 623 points over Austria (Mitch Gunn - www.sportsphotographer.eu)
SCHLADMING, Austria (March 14) – After the points were tallied from Wednesday's season ending Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill, the women's U.S. Ski Team won the nations' downhill standings by a 636 point margin over Austria. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO), Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) and Leanne Smith (North Conway, NH) combined for 1,417 points to defend the title they had first secured in 2011.
The women's U.S. Ski Team toppled Austria in the downhill standings by a 1,417-781 point margin.
Six American women qualified for the top 25 World Cup Finals, more than any nation. Austria had three.
It was the second consecutive season that the U.S. Ski Team had won the women's downhill standings
Vonn won the individual downhill title for a record fifth straight season.
Mancuso was fifth in the standings, Cook 10th, McKennis 20, Ross 22 and Smith 25.
All six athletes posted top 10 finishes this season with McKennis, Ross and Smith landing career bests in downhill.
Injured Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT) also contributed to the total, but was sidelined in January.
QUOTES Lindsey Vonn This is an amazing team with an incredible amount of talent. Julia has won downhills, Stacey was in the top ten almost all season and it's only a matter of time before Alice, Laurenne and Leanne and fighting for podiums every race. I'm incredibly proud of what we've been able to accomplish this season.
Julia Mancuso Being fast is one thing, but enjoying skiing and being fast is another. As a team, I think we do both. We love skiing, we love being out on the mountain, we love traveling. That's why we're so comfortable spending more than half the year away from home. We love what we do.
Stacey Cook Our coaches deserve a lot of credit for having confidence in us and supporting us in ways that we don't really see. Some mornings, they're on the hill before we get out of bed. They believe in us and it helps us to believe in ourselves. It's a special team.
Alice McKennis It’s really exciting and it's fun to be with fast girls all the time and it's cool to see each other do so well. I am proud to be part of such a great group of skiers. Today was a lot of fun. It was the last downhill of the year and we all had something we wanted to prove.
Laurenne Ross After my crash in Lake Louise, I didn't think it was possible to make it here, but being around so many talented athletes does something for you. There's something to be said about that. This is an amazing team and we all provide something for each other.
Leanne Smith There's a lot of people working together and there are a lot of people who want to do well – it's a combination for success. We're a great team and we all have our strong suits. If there's a team that I want to train and race with, I know it's ours.