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truebluefan 01-14-2008 09:11 AM

Puckett, Fiala 2-3 In Qualifiers
LES CONTAMINES, France (Jan. 12) - Casey Puckett (Snowmass, CO) and Jake Fiala (Frisco, CO) led U.S. skiers in the qualifying round of the FIS Ski Cross World Cup Saturday. Puckett took second place followed by Fiala in third in snowy weather that led to the postponement of the ski cross finals until Sunday.

"What made their runs impressive was the fact that when Casey Puckett and Errol Kerr took their qualifying run you could not see more than one gate," Head Coach Tyler Shepherd said. "It was a tough day due to the weather. It was very foggy and snowy, but the guys did great."

Michael Schmid of Switzerland led the qualifying round. Errol Kerr (Truckee, CA) finished 12th, Justin Johnson (Park City, UT) was 22nd, and Cody Smith (Spokane, WA) was 39th. The top 32 skiers qualified for finals heats. No U.S. women competed.

"The decision was made to hold the finals Sunday so that the hill could be better prepared and it would be a safer environment to run the finals," Shepherd said. "But the guys did great and it is sure to be an exciting day tomorrow."

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