Vonn ties American downhill record | AspenTimes.com

Vonn ties American downhill record

Andrew Dampf
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, takes jump on her way to winning an alpine ski, women's World Cup Downhill race, in Sestriere, Italy, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

SESTRIERE, Italy ” Lindsey Vonn won her ninth career World Cup downhill Saturday, matching the American record set by Picabo Street and Daron Rahlves.

The victory propelled Vonn back to the top of the overall World Cup standings, three points ahead of Nicole Hosp of Austria.

“I was really nervous today,” Vonn said. “Normally I’m not that fast in training runs. I had a good run yesterday and I know I always have more left in the last day. But still, it was a little nerve-racking that I had to put down an even better run than yesterday.”

Vonn used a much straighter line than the other skiers to cover the 1.84-mile Kandahar Banchetta course in 1 minute, 38.86 seconds. It’s the same downhill course the men used at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

“She’s a speed train!” the race announcer yelled as Vonn posted one split time faster than another.

Kelly Vanderbeek of Canada was second, 0.62 behind, and Nadia Fanchini of Italy was third on a clear and sunny day. Austrian veteran Renate Goetschl finished tied for fourth with Nadia Styger of Switzerland.

Vonn has 968 points in the overall standings, the first time she’s led since Dec. 28. Hosp finished 23rd on Saturday.

Vonn has won four of the seven downhills this season and ” including a super-combi win. She has five overall victories this season.

In the downhill standings, Vonn leads Goetschl by 575 to 323. She could wrap up the downhill title in the next race in Vancouver.

American Chelsea Marshall finished eighth for the best result of her career. In her three previous World Cup races, Marshall had not placed higher than 34th.

Julia Mancuso lost control at the beginning of her run and nearly fell, raising her right ski high up into the air to regain her balance. She finished 22nd.

“I don’t really know what happened. It happened too fast,” Mancuso said. “I hit a bump and it jacked my ski.”

Mancuso won four races last season, but has no victories so far.

“I’m just trying to figure out my equipment,” Mancuso said. “I’ve just been having a hard time finding my skis. They’re just a little more difficult to turn and it’s difficult figuring out what works.”

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