PARK CITY, Utah (April 25) - The U.S. Disabled Ski Team had another solid year of top athlete performance in the 2008 season thanks to athletes like Paralympic champions Chris Devlin-Young (sit-ski; Campton, NH) and Allison Jones (standing; Colorado Springs, CO) and U.S. champion Brad Washburn (standing; Littleton, CO).
"The Team really stepped up this season to meet the goals that we had laid out," U.S. Disabled Ski Team Program Director Sandy Metzger said. "It took a lot of perseverance for the athletes to come together and face the challenges of having a smaller team because of injuries and they succeeded in every level of competition." World Cup success
Devlin-Young started the season on fire in Abtenau, Austria when he won three competitions in a row. He then also took second place in super G and third in a super combined while in Austria.
"The positive changes to the staff were a big part of my success this season," said Devlin-Young who moved up from the C Team for one of his best seasons ever. "Having the fastest skis in the field also helped with my winning. We raced on some very challenging hills and hard conditions - my kind of racing.”
During the same Austrian World Cup competition week, Laurie Stephens (sit-ski; Wenham, MA) and Jones were also on the podium with Stephens winning and Jones in third, both in the slalom.
From there, the Team traveled to Queyras, France where Devlin-Young continued his success, finishing second and third in two giant slalom races. Devlin-Young big in Asia
The World Cup tour finished in Asia with stops in Kenowan, Korea, where Devlin-Young again brought in two third place finishes in the giant slalom races. The Team then went to Hakuba, Japan, where he was awarded the super G title. He finished the season third in the giant slalom and super combined standings, and fourth in the overall World Cup rankings.
"It was good for Chris to come back and power through the whole season," said U.S. Disabled Alpine Head Coach Ray Watkins. "It was really impressive that he got the World Cup super G globe and followed that up by being on the podium in giant slalom and the overall. He had a huge year." Jones racks in the U.S. titles
During the 2008 Hartford U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships at Soldier Mountain in Idaho, it was Jones who stopped the show when she swept the titles in all disciplines - Sl, GS, DH and SG - to also take the overall champion crown.
"It was a great season overall. The coaches were great, my skis were fast and I really love Soldier Mountain," Jones said.
George Sansonetis (standing; Fraser, CO) nearly matched Jones' title sweep, winning the downhill, super G and giant slalom titles to take the overall title.
"I look forward to being in the hunt again next season," Sansonetis said.
"Our team as a whole really stepped up with meeting our point goal. But until our Team is winning every event we're in, we still have some things to work on," Watkins said. "We're excited about next season. There will be some new faces as well as returning ones and we're happy to have a team of people who will be pushing to perform well."