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Kelleher wins Big Mountain NorAm super G, McJames wraps up season title

Kelleher wins Big Mountain NorAm super G, McJames wraps up season title{mosimage}Keely Kelleher edged U.S. NorAm/Europa Cup teammate Megan McJames to claim her first victory of the season in a super G at Big Mountain, Montana, on Feb. 8. For Kelleher, who was elated that her father was on hand to celebrate, the victory cemented her comeback from a career threatening broken leg.

McJames, who dominated the super G’s in Apex, British Columbia, earlier this week, cemented something, too – a spot on next year’s World Cup super G tour.

McJames’ second-place finish guaranteed that, no matter what happens in the season’s final super G on Feb. 9, she’ll be the 2005-06 NorAm super G champion.

Though McJames has wrapped up the first of two World Cup spots, Kelleher put a spin on the race for the final slot because she is now within striking distance of teammate Caitlin Ciccone, who currently sits second in the NorAm SG standings. Whoever skis fastest on Feb. 9 will likely make the jump to the World Cup.

‘Whatever happens tomorrow happens’ said Kelleher, ‘All I can think about is skiing my best.’

Adding to the drama of Feb. 9’s showdown, Big Mountain is one of the NorAm circuit’s toughest tracks.

‘The light is often flat here’ said USSA Rocky/Central coordinator Terry Delliquadri, ‘and there are so many twists and turns that experience makes a huge difference… I was just telling someone that, if I was racing, I’d have a tough time memorizing [the intricacies] of this course.’

If experience is an advantage, then Kelleher may have the upper hand on Ciccone. Kelleher is from Big Sky, Montana, and has spent a lot of time on this track. ‘Big Mountain is like a second home for me’ said Kelleher, ‘and I just love racing in Montana.’

Europa Cup coach Jim Tracy expects to see stellar skiing on Feb. 9. ‘They competed today, no doubt about it’ said Tracy, adding, ‘Tomorrow should be fun… just a few points separate Ciccone and Kelleher, and I expect they’ll bring their best again.’

Women’s Big Mountain NorAm super G
Feb. 8, 2006

Top 10
Penalty: 26.01

1. KELLEHER Keely Blair (USA) 1:27.82
2. MCJAMES Megan (USA) 1:28.10
3. POLESCHUK Danielle (CAN) 1:28.25
4. CICCONE Caitlin (USA) 1:28.38
5. WOODS Elizabeth (USA) 1:28.45
6. LITTMAN Julia (USA) 1:28.73
7. ARCHAMBAULT-LEGER Veronique (CAN 1:28.79
8. PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier (CAN) 1:28.89
9. HAMMOND Courtney (USA) 1:28.99
10.MARSHALL Chelsea (USA) 1:29.05

For complete results for the Feb. 8 race, please click here.

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