Juneau monoskier Joe Tompkins moved into 13th place in the Disabled World Cup Alpine ski standings after completing his second series of races in Austria earlier this month.
Tompkins, who was ranked 15th in the overall World Cup standings before this series, competed in a pair of slalom and giant slalom races Feb. 4-7 in Tirol and Wildschoenau, Austria. Tompkins finished 12th and 14th among the combined three classes of monoskiers in his two giant slalom races and was 19th and 23rd in his two slalom events.
The four races were the World Cup Finals for this season, although a lack of snow forced a change in the schedule. The original schedule for the series had one slalom, one giant slalom, a Super G and a downhill race, but the Super G and downhill events were canceled. Tompkins is stronger in the speed events, so losing the two speed events hurt his chances for a podium finish.
Martin Braxenthaler of Germany led the World Cup monoskier standings with 650 points through seven races, followed by Juergen Egle of Austria with 457 and Daniel Wesley of Canada in third place with 350 points. The World Cup standings also include a slalom, giant slalom and Super G race series held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Salzburg and Abtenau, Austria.
Tompkins, a member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team's C team, had 101 World Cup points and was the top American in the standings. The only other Americans among the top 50 monoskiers were Daniel Metivier in 22nd place with 67 points and Nicholas Catanzarite in 34th place with 35 points.
The Americans, who were missing many of their top skiers for the two series of races in Austria, took second place in the Nation's Cup with 2,759 points. Austria, which had 22 skiers to defending champion Team USA's 11, won the Nation's Cup standings with 4,047 points, while France took third place with 1,953 points.
"We didn't defend the Nation's Cup, but we knew that was going to be a tough chore with such a small team," U.S. Disabled Ski Team coach Kevin Jardine said. "We had a couple of tough injuries, some retirements and some athletes taking the winter off, so we had just 11 skiers over here; Austria had 22. They skied well, but for us when every point counted because we had so few skiers. The coaches are extremely happy with the way the athletes stayed focused and kept driving toward that goal. They made some great improvements and nobody doubts we'll get that Nation's Cup trophy again."
Tompkins opened the series with a 19th-place finish in the Feb. 4 slalom race, posting a two-run adjusted time of 1:58.94. Braxenthaler won the race in 1:30.75. There was a large snowfall just before the race and more than a third of the field didn't finish.
In the second slalom race on Feb. 5, Tompkins finished 23rd with a two-run time of 1:50.15. Braxenthaler won the race in 1:24.71.
Tompkins posted his best finish in the first giant slalom race on Feb. 6, taking 12th place with a two-run time of 2:00.89. Braxenthaler won the race in 1:46.54.
In the second giant slalom race on Feb. 7, Tompkins finished 14th with a two-run time of 2:10.00. Braxenthaler also won this race in 1:56.94.
The next big series of races for Tompkins takes place when the U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Championships are held March 26-29 at Big Sky Resort in Montana. The four-race series opens with a downhill race on March 26, a Super G on March 27, a giant slalom on March 28 and a slalom race on March 29.
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