Ligety 8th and Cochran 12th at Wengen slalom as race to the Olympics continues

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 17, 2010 9:17 pm

The race for the U.S. Ski Team men to qualify for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver is getting down to the wire, but on Sunday, athletes Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Jimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) essentially solidified their spots. Ligety was 8th (not his best finish) and Cochran was 12th at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom in Wengen.

“The slalom is just so quick, there’s just so many different things coming at you that you have to have the confidence just to go at it full speed, and I think this will kind of help me go that way,” Ligety said. ”I’ve been struggling to get to the bottom in slalom, and I felt like this was a major step in the right direction. Eighth place is really not my goal for every race, but it’s definitely a good steppingstone.”

Cochran has been having one of the best seasons of his career, finishing 25th in Zagreb and ninth in Alta Badia, Italy–making his World Cup points accumulation consistent.

“It felt great. It felt solid,” Cochran said. “I think I probably could have been a little faster, but it’s great for me.”

“For both those guys, the goal was to get to the finish and score some World Cup points, and they did that, so it’s a mission accomplished today,” said U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Sasha Rearick.

American star Bode Miller made a small error which sent him off course, and fellow U.S. Ski Team athlete Tim Jitloff failed to qualify for a second run. Croatian great Ivica Kostelic won the race with Andre Myhrer of Sweden taking second and Austrian Reinfried Herbst claiming third.

“Next week is a big week because it’s the last weekend of qualifications for downhill, super G and slalom,” Rearick said. 

The men head to Kitzbuehel for the classic, final races before the Olympic Games.

photo: Haney