Julia Mancuso finished seventh in a World Cup super-G race Thursday, her first top-10 in 15 races this season and an encouraging sign as she speeds up for the Sochi Olympics.
The three-time Olympic medalist was the fastest in a training run Wednesday and has three more races in Cortina d’Ampezzo this weekend to build on Thursday’s effort.
“Things are going in the right direction and I know I have a lot more in me,” Mancuso said, according to The Associated Press. “Training has been going really well and racing is getting better, so I’m getting there just in time for the Olympics.”
Austrian Elisabeth Goergl won in 1 minute, 24.23 seconds. She was .04 faster than World Cup overall leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch and .32 better than countrywoman Nicole Hosp.
American Stacey Cook took ninth, also her first top-10 this season and best World Cup super-G finish in seven years.
Mancuso’s best chance for an Olympic medal looks to be in the super-G, though none of her previous Olympic medals came in the event. She is the reigning world bronze medalist and has been in the top three in the World Cup super-G standings the previous three seasons.
This season has been a struggle for Mancuso, whose best finish in any World Cup race before Thursday was 12th. However, this season’s results have been very similar to four years ago, when Mancuso won two Olympic silver medals after not placing on the podium in any World Cup races.
In fact, she posted her best pre-Vancouver Olympic finish on Jan. 23, 2010, with an eighth-place finish in a Cortina d’Ampezzo downhill.
Cortina d’Ampezzo super-G
1. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1:24.23
2. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) 1:24.27
3. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 1:24.57
4. Tina Weirather (LIE) 1:24.92
5. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:24.97
6. Tina Maze (SLO) 1:25.15
7. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:25.21
8. Verena Stuffer (ITA) 1:25.47
9. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:25.48
10. Kajsa Kling (SWE) 1:25.50
10. Dominique Gisin (SUI) 1:25.50
32. Julia Ford (USA) 1:26.60
35. Jacqueline Wiles (USA) 1:27.08
37. Laurenne Ross (USA) 1:27.23
DNF. Leanne Smith (USA)