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Jonna Mendes wins NorAm super G finale, Ciccone clinches World Cup berth

Jonna Mendes wins NorAm super G finale, Ciccone clinches World Cup berthRipe with drama, the final women’s NorAm super G of the season was staged on Feb. 9, and when the curtain fell at day’s end in Big Mountain, Montana, World Cupper Jonna Mendes had stolen the show with a dominant victory. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Mendes was followed by Caitlin Ciccone, who exited the scene with a 2006-07 World Cup super G spot in tow.

After Montana native Keely Kelleher earned 100 points for her win in the year’s penultimate super G on Feb. 8, she climbed to within just a few points of American teammate Ciccone in the overall NorAm super G standings.

A day later, in the span of a few gripping minutes, the contest was decided by seven tenths of a second.

Mendes, a World Cup veteran and consummate pro, is expected to win when she shows up at NorAms. However, she’s been struggling this year, and so it was unclear the pace of 1:27.65 she set running first would stand, considering her 11th-place finish the day before. Two racers later, when Ciccone charged down the ever twisting terrain at Big Mountain, she put down a time that was nearly a second back of Mendes’, and the door seemed wide open for Kelleher.

After a cluster of Canadian juniors, including Veronique Archambault-Leger, arrived at the finish line with times just slower than Ciccone’s, Kelleher came up short, finishing eighth in 1:29.33. Ciccone held on to second-place with a time of 1:28.57.

At the end of the day, the second that separated Ciccone and Mendes served as a confidence booster for Mendes, but the margin was irrelevant to Ciccone. She had captured a place on the World Cup by finishing second to teammate Megan McJames in the season’s super G standings.

In this week’s super G races at Apex and Big Mountain, Ciccone twice finished second and twice finished fourth. ‘I bought a plane ticket to come here for one reason’ said Ciccone early in the week, ‘… to win a World Cup spot.’

On a pressure filled stage, mission accomplished.

Women’s NorAm super G
Feb. 9, 2006

Top 10
Penalty: 20.95

1. MENDES Jonna USA 1:27.65
2. CICCONE Caitlin USA 1:28.57
3. ARCHAMBAULT-LEGER Veronique CAN 1:28.79
4. MCJAMES Megan USA 1:28.85
5. YURKIW Larisa CAN 1:28.88
6. PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier CAN 1:29.01
7. MCBROOM Kelly CAN 1:29.08
8. KELLEHER Keely Blair USA 1:29.33
9. ROSS Laurenne USA 1:29.40
10. POLESCHUK Danielle CAN 1:29.44

For complete Feb. 9 results, please click here.

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