Course claims Marno in Beaver Creek | SteamboatToday.com

Course claims Marno in Beaver Creek

— Steamboat Springs Alpine skier Anna Marno got her first World Cup start Saturday at the Raptor Women's World Cup at Beaver Creek, but she's going to have to wait for her first finish.

The 21-year-old Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier bounced back from a severe knee injury a year ago to start in the super-G in Beaver Creek on Saturday, but one ski cut wrong high on the course, and she lost her balance and tumbled off the course.

The portion of the course that threw her for a loop was trouble to many racers.

"It's a very technical course," she said, speaking last week before the race. "It's not super fast, but there's a lot going on the whole way down. Every turn has a different feature, so you try to be on your toes.”

Marno picked herself up and left the course under her own power. Winter Sports Club Alpine director Deb Armstrong said Saturday evening that Marno wasn't seriously injured in the crash, and that no matter the result, as long as Marno emerged OK, it was a good day for Steamboat.

"This was a big, big deal," Armstrong said. "It's huge to have a Steamboat skier racing on the World Cup. This is what we've wanted for a long time, and Anna is just a great girl."

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Much of Steamboat seemed to have turned out for the event, a crowd of several dozen marking off one corner of the stands near the finish line. They waved signs and cheered loudly as Marno started and hung around to cheer the rest of the U.S. Ski Team after Marno's early exit.

"I love having my family there," Marno said last week before the race. "I grew up skiing and racing with them. It's comforting."

Marno was far from the only American to struggle Saturday. Leanna Smith was the top U.S. finisher in 23rd place, nearly three seconds off winner Lara Gut, of Switzerland. Stacey Cook was 28th, Julia Mancuso 29th, Laurenne Ross 31st, Julia Ford 34th and Megan McJames 43rd. Marno and teammate Jacqueline Wiles were among 14 racers who didn’t finish their first run or who were disqualified.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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