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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Mancuso eighth, hitting reset button

By Jim Caple

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia -- Watching the women’s downhill from the bottom of the course, 1998 gold medalist Picabo Street said the U.S. team didn’t make any big mistakes Wednesday, but they didn’t attack the course hard enough, either.

"It was a matter of being ballsy or not today," Street said. "It was a matter of dropping the hammer and running at this course or letting it come at them."

The top American finisher was Julia Mancuso in eighth place. Mancuso took bronze in Sunday’s super combined, but she was the only U.S. skier in the top 10 and nearly a full second off the winning time. Laurenne Ross was 11th, Stacey Cook 17th and Jacqueline Wiles 26th.

Street said Lindsey Vonn is probably sitting at home and thinking, "I’ve got these girls. I’ve got these girls and I’m gonna come back and spank these girls and I’m gonna spank them hard."

She also said the warm weather and course conditions favored Slovenia's Tina Maze, who tied for first with Switzerland's Dominique Gisin. She said Maze was hungry for a win, too.

"Mancuso’s hungry, but like, I got a medal in Nagano and it was real easy to be like, ‘Hmmm, I don’t think I’m gonna drop that hammer that hard in the downhill,'" Street said. "It was much easier to make that choice. I let myself go, 'I’m not going to take the risk up here that I need to.'"

Asked whether she felt content with one medal here or hungry for more, Mancuso said: "Both. It’s a little of everything. I'm so happy I got a medal but I want more for sure. I always want more."

Mancuso got a great start but quickly lost time and finished in 1:42.56.

“I’m moving on. I don’t have many emotions but I can’t go back and do it again. I just want to remember it for the super-G," she said. “I had a great race in the super combined and now I’ve had the downhill where I wasn’t in my best state of mind or body. I really didn’t perform how I wanted to and I’ll kind of take that and learn for the super-G.

"I want to hit the reset button."