Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin fails to finish St. Moritz giant slalom; Worley wins

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Mikaela Shiffrin failed to finish the first run and Tina Maze and Julia Mancuso posted their best finishes of the season, while France’s Tessa Worley won a World Cup giant slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Worley, the reigning world giant slalom champion, prevailed in a two-run time of 2 minutes, 7.62 seconds.

“It feels really awesome because the beginning of the season wasn’t great for me in GS,” Worley said on Eurosport 2. “The snow was so good that you just wanted to go really far on your edges. Sometimes, it was a bit tricky with all those bumps and everything. You needed to be very focused on tactics.”

Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby was second, .37 behind after winning the Beaver Creek, Colo., giant slalom two weeks ago.

Maze took third, beating her chest five times after crossing the finish, matching her best finish this season. Maze had the greatest World Cup season in history last year.

Mancuso, the 2006 Olympic giant slalom champion, was 12th in the Swiss Alps, her best finish in nine races this season.

Shiffrin, the world’s best slalom skier, did not finish her first run after taking second in the Beaver Creek giant slalom.

“It was perfect snow really,” Shiffrin said, according to The Associated Press. “Running [bib] No. 1, I was loving every second of it until I fell.

“There is always a reason for falling so I will go back and figure it out and hopefully not do it again.”

Swiss Lara Gut skied out in the first run but kept an overall World Cup lead over Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a slalom in Courchevel, France, on Tuesday.

“I guess that’s the bright side of going out today,” Shiffrin told the AP. “Now we’ll get to Courchevel sooner.”

St. Moritz Giant Slalom
1. Tessa Worley (FRA) 2:07.62
2. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (SWE) 2:07.99
3. Tina Maze (SLO) 2:08.41
4. Kathrin Zettel (AUT) 2:09.32
5. Anemone Marmottan (FRA) 2:09.45
6. Maria Pietilae-Holmner (SWE) 2:09.45
7. Nadia Fanchini (ITA) 2:09.56
8. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 2:09.70
9. Francesca Marsaglia (ITA) 2:09.93
10. Kajsa Kling (SWE) 2:09.96
12. Julia Mancuso (USA) 2:10.21
23. Megan McJames (USA) 2:10.69

Ligety, Miller have tough Sunday; Austrian makes history

John Shuster, 30 pounds lighter, rallies for 4th Olympic curling berth

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John Shuster is going to a fourth Olympics. It’s one more chance to prove Urban Dictionary wrong.

Shuster, 30 pounds lighter since his second straight Olympic failure in Sochi, led a team that beat Heath McCormick‘s squad at the U.S. Olympic Trials finals in Omaha on Saturday night.

Shuster, Tyler GeorgeMatt Hamilton and John Landsteiner lost the opener of a best-of-three finals series on Thursday.

They came back to deliver in a pair of must-win games, 9-4 on Friday night and 7-5 on Saturday, after spending each day at the Omaha Zoo.

The new-look Shuster — leaner and, at least this weekend, clutch — would astonish those who know him by scenes at the last two Olympics.

After taking bronze in 2006 as a role player, he led the last two U.S. Olympic teams to 2-7 records in 2010 and in 2014. Last place in Vancouver, where he was benched after an 0-4 start. Next to last place in Sochi.

After the last Olympics, the former bartender from Chisholm, Minn., was left off USA Curling’s 10-man high performance team.

He took it as motivation to get in shape.

Shuster, a father of a 2- and a 4-year-old who once said, “If I don’t have pizza three or four times a week, I’m not happy,” now totes meal replacement shakes. He’s starting to enjoy Olympic lifting.

Shuster, George, Hamilton and Landsteiner, all absent from that USA Curling high performance list, formed their own team. They became Team USA in their first season together and represented the Stars and Stripes at worlds in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Their results — fourth, third and fifth —  marked the best string of U.S. men’s or women’s finishes at that level in a decade.

Shuster is set to join Debbie McCormick as the only Americans to curl at four Olympics. The sport was part of the first Winter Games in 1924, then absent as a medal sport until 1998.

“I don’t think it’s about the four Olympics for me,” Shuster said on NBCSN. “What this is about — and what I’m about — is getting my teammates to now. I have two new Olympians on this team, and I know how special that is.”

George, the 35-year-old vice skip for Shuster, led a team that lost to Shuster in the 2010 Olympic Trials final. The liquor store manager from Duluth, Minn., is going to his first Winter Games.

As is the 28-year-old Hamilton, whose younger sister qualified for PyeongChang earlier Saturday.

Landsteiner, a 27-year-old corrosion engineer, played with Shuster since 2011, including in Sochi.

Alternate Joe Polo can go 12 years between Olympic appearances after taking bronze on that Torino team.

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MORE: U.S. Winter Olympic Trials broadcast schedule

Katie Ledecky wins race by 54 seconds, breaks record

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Katie Ledecky is back at Stanford and back to pulverizing distance races.

The sophomore and five-time Olympic champion won a 1,650-yard freestyle by 54.45 seconds at a meet at Texas A&M on Saturday night.

The runner-up was in a different heat; Ledecky won her heat by 1:02.16.

Ledecky lowered her own American record, clocking 15:03.31. She had the previous mark of 15:03.92 set last Nov. 20.

Ledecky had every swimmer lapped in the 25-yard pool before the halfway point and ended up lapping everyone twice.

The men also raced a 1,650 on Saturday. The winner clocked 15:18.95, which was 15.64 seconds slower than Ledecky’s time.

Full results are here.

The 1,650 is the longest race on the NCAA program, while the longest race at the Olympics and world championships is the 1500m.

The No. 2 woman all-time in the 1,650 is triple 2008 Olympic medalist Katie Hoff, a full 21.04 seconds slower.

Ledecky owns the 1500m world record, too, 13.4 seconds faster than any other woman in history.

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MORE: Michael Phelps’ discussion with Katie Ledecky after 2017 Worlds