USST Athletes Complete Extraordinary Season

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SAM Magazine-Park City, Utah, Mar. 16, 2012-The Alpine World Cup finals are still to come, but already USST athletes are primed to conclude one of the most successful seasons in history.

The list of accomplishments is quite long:

• Lindsey Vonn won her 16th career Audi FIS World Cup title. She also won her 53rd race, fifth-best all-time among skiers, male or female. She trails Ingemar Stenmark (86), Anne-Marie Moser-Proell (62), Vreni Schneider (55), and Hermann Maier (54). She also has a chance to amass more than 2,000 points overall, which would top the single-season record held by Maier. She won a record fifth-straight downhill title, and a women's record 18th super G event.

• Hannah Kearney ran off a string of 16 straight moguls wins to capature the FIS overall Freestyle World Cup, besting the FIS World Cup mark for consecutive wins previously held by Ingemar Stenmark (15).

• Kelly Clark built a string of 16 halfpipe snowboarding victories (and 18 straight podiums) including the X Games crown.

• Kikkan Randall became the first American in 30 years to win an FIS Cross Country World Cup title (sprint).

• Sarah Hendrickson won nine of 13 ski jumping World Cups to take the inaugural title.

• U.S. Snowboarding's Chas Guldemond won the slopestyle World Championship.

• U.S. Freeskiing's David Wise in halfpipe and Tom Wallisch in slopestyle won X Games, and established themselves as sport leaders in the new 2014 Olympic events with multiple victories. Bobby Brown topped Wallisch in the European X Games yesterday, marking his first win and third podium finish of the season.

• Bryan Fletcher ushered in a new generation of Nordic combined, winning the King's Cup at Holmenkollen in Oslo.

• U.S. Snowboarding swept the season-ending snowboard halfpipe podium at European X Games. Kelly Clark soared to yet another victory, followed by Elena Hight and Kaitlyn Farrington.

• Louie Vito repeated as winner of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix title.

Other competitors had notable seasons. They include alpine racers Julia Mancuso (currently fourth overall in the World Cup, and second to Vonn in super G); Ted Ligety (second in GS standings, with one of the largest winning margins ever, 1.61 seconds, at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia); 17-year veteran Bode Miller, with a win on the Birds of Prey downhill at Beaver Creek and two other podiums before injury ended his season; and mogul skier Patrick Deneen, who won twice.