AMERICAN STACEY COOK CLAIMS WOMEN'S NOR AM DOWNHILL TITLE AT BIG MOUNTAIN - BC Alpine Ski Association



American Stacey Cook completed the alpine racing equivalent of a perfect game in Nor Am downhill race action on Thursday by winning the final race and claiming the overall women's Nor Am downhill title for the 2003-04 season.

Cook has been unbeatable in the downhill on the Nor Am circuit this year, winning all four races to earn the title and a World Cup berth in downhill next season.

Though fog once again delayed the start of the race, it did nothing to stop the Americans who swept the top-seven spots. Joining Cook on the podium were Kristen Bybee, who finished second with a time of one minute, 36.20 seconds to Cook's 1:35.64, and Chelsea Marshall who took third in 1:36.22.

The day's top-Canadian honours went to Calgarian Emily Hamill who finished eighth with a time of 1:36.97. In fact, all four Canadians who finished in the top-15 hail from Calgary – including Sherry Lawrence who finished 13th (1:37.60), Jessica Dakers who was 14th (1:37.70), and Allison Empey who placed 15th (1:37.86).

Janelle Miller of Lethbridge and Megan Kidston of 100 Mile House and Sun Peaks Alpine Club, also cracked the top-20, finishing 17th and 20th respectively.

The women will be at Panorama Mountain Resort this weekend for the final Super G events of the season on Sunday and Monday.

Nor Am men's speed finals resume on Friday and Saturday with the final two Super Gs of the 2003-04 season, and the crowning of this year's men's Super G champion. Rossland, BC's David Anderson – who was crowned the 2004 Nor Am Downhill Champion on Wednesday and is defending champion of the Super G title – is currently leading the men's Super G standings.

Women's downhill
Top 10:
1. Stacey J Cook, USA, 1:35.64; 2. Kristen A Bybee, USA, 1:36.20; 3. Chelsea Marshall, USA, 1:36.22; 4. Bryna McCarty, USA, 1:36.42; 5. Megan Hughes, USA, 1:36.71; 6. Caitlin Ciccone, USA, 1:36.82; 7. Lauren Van Ness, USA, 1:36.87; 8. Emily Hamill, Calgary, Alta., 1:36.97; 9. Morgan Gose, USA, 1:37.18; 10. Julia Littman, USA, 1:37.30.

Other Canadians:
13. Sherry Lawrence, Calgary, Alta., 1:37.60
14. Jessica Dakers, Calgary, Alta., 1:37.70
15. Allison Empey, Calgary, Alta., 1:37.86
17. Janelle Miller, Lethbridge, Alta., 1:38.18
20. Megan Kidston, 100 Mile House, BC, 1:38.71
23. Charlotte Whitney, Whistler, BC, 1:39.10
27. Kristen Tarchuk, Banff, Alta., 1:39.56
DNF Anna Goodman, Pointe-Claire, Que.

Final Nor Am women's downhill standings
Top 10:
1. Stacey J Cook, USA, 400 pts.; 2. Lauren Van Ness, USA, 226 pts.; 3. Kristen A Bybee, USA, 180 pts.; 4. Rachel Roosevelt, USA, 166 pts.; 5. Megan Hughes, USA, 148 pts.; 6. Caitlin Ciccone, USA, 132 pts.; 7. Bryna McCarty, USA, 130 pts.; 8. Christina Risler, Vancouver, BC, 120 pts.; 9. Chelsea Marshall, USA, 96 pts.; 10. Brigitte Acton, Sault Ste-Marie, Ont., 90 pts.