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Anybody know how Phil is doing?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I can't seem to find any info on how Phil Mahre is doing in his quest to qualify for the U S Nationals.

Anybody know anything?

Thanks.
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I can't seem to find any info on how Phil Mahre is doing in his quest to qualify for the U S Nationals.

Anybody know anything?

Thanks.
Looks like our boy did a GS yesterday down at Mammoth coming in 16th about 5 seconds out with bid #89. Be interesting to see how his point profile changes over the winter. You know eventually he’s got to race the Masters then lookout boys there’s a new sheriff in town.

Only had one Phil sighting this year so far; he was up with brother Steve leading a group of Rotarians around the mountain from the charity auction. We were hoping they would come over and run our course but they never found us.

- Fossil
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Fossil View Post
Looks like our boy did a GS yesterday down at Mammoth coming in 16th about 5 seconds out with bid #89. Be interesting to see how his point profile changes over the winter. You know eventually he’s got to race the Masters then lookout boys there’s a new sheriff in town.


- Fossil

I think it was actually a slalom, though the results list on fis-ski.com says it was a giant slalom. He was 4.5 seconds out on the first run, but was only 0.3 seconds off the fastest time on the second run. There are races the next three days at Mammoth. Another slalom today and GS tomorrow and Friday.

http://www.mammothmountain.com/ski_r...isone&race=236

Richr
post #4 of 22
As of the 3rd point list, his SL points are 41.85 and his GS points are 80.44. Now that he has some decent points established, he will get better start positions and will be able to enter lower penalty races. Judging by his points so far, I don't think high 20's low 30's would be at all out of the question by the time nationals rolls around.

...maybe lower.
post #5 of 22
He's just started establishing his point profile in FIS - on 1/2 he started 89th, finished 16th against a "development" field (30th place was 10 out) - a 15 and 16 year old were in the top 4 - Phil earned a 72+ result.

Keep track of his FIS progress by bookmarking this link:

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/613.ht...94&type=result
post #6 of 22
I am doing fine, thanks for asking.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by whygimf View Post
He's just started establishing his point profile in FIS - on 1/2 he started 89th, finished 16th against a "development" field (30th place was 10 out) - a 15 and 16 year old were in the top 4 - Phil earned a 72+ result.

Keep track of his FIS progress by bookmarking this link:

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/613.ht...94&type=result
Nice link! Thanks. I was looking at his national points. He had a 40 and a 43 in SL at Timberline. Then a 57 and a 103 in GS. Not a bad field, either. Evan Weiss was there, and the penalty was in the 20's.

The penalty at Mammoth was actually higher.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the updates, buys. whygimf, I appreciate the link.

So, those of you who understand FIS points better than I do (I understand them about as well as I do string theory), what do you think?

Is he looking fairly good at this point or does he stand the snowball's chance?
post #9 of 22
IMO, he's doing great for his age and making nationals shouldn't be ruled out.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
So, those of you who understand FIS points better than I do (I understand them about as well as I do string theory), what do you think?

Is he looking fairly good at this point or does he stand the snowball's chance?
I don't know the quotas and/or the competition in the Pacific Northwest Division, but he's definitely looking good.

He started the season with no point history, so his points were "990.00" This is basically an arbitrary number... doesn't really mean anything other than he doesn't have any results. Your "points" are basically an average of your two best results. They can't go up, only down. So basically, to lower your points, you have to get a better result than you have ever got before. When your points are 990, that's easy. Just finish 2 races.

Your start position is also based on your points. The race at Timberline had close to 100 competitors. 990's go last. For Phil to pull off 2 results in the 40's starting that far back is pretty remarkable. Now he'll be starting top 30 and we can really see what he can do.

By the way.. as for points. Boy, this is going to be tough for me.. so no one jump on me too much and correct me.. this is an just an oversimplified explanation for the average layperson.

Your "point result" of any given race is calculated by adding your "race points" to the "penalty points". The race points of the winner are always "0". Everyone elses race points are calculated based on how far they are off the winning time.

The penalty is a complex calculation based on the points of the finishers, but the gist of it is "on the average, how good is this field of skiers?" The better the field, the lower the penalty. A typical World Cup race has a penalty around zero or sometimes even negative.


OK, Bob, so hopefully now you aren't more confused than before. Bottom line is, he's doing pretty damn well.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
OK, Bob, so hopefully now you aren't more confused than before. Bottom line is, he's doing pretty damn well.
That helps a lot, U.P.

I appreciate it.

Go, Phil.
post #12 of 22
Bob,
What the hell are you doing in the office? 7 inches of fresh????
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Bob,
What the hell are you doing in the office? 7 inches of fresh????
On my way out the door as I type.

See ya.

post #14 of 22
Good info UP and Rich!

I see Phil is listed on the squad for the Park City tech series as well. Those coaches and kiddos must be feeling pretty blessed to have America's greatest ski racer along with them for the ride. Also notice one of his nephews is racing down there at Mammoth with him. It's a family affair

Are the nationals in Alaska this year? Bet I know one competitor who will be doing some Valdez powder skiing afterwards on a celebrity invitation of course!

- Fossil
post #15 of 22
Here's another link to keep track:
http://services.ussa.org/USSATools/p...nSubmit=Submit

He's doing OK, but it'll still be darned tough. Lots of others will be moving up, also.

The quotas can be found here:
http://www.ussa.org/PublishingFolder...guidechap4.pdf

All regions (East, Rocky/Central, West) have 13 for DH/SG, 13 for SL/GS There are also up to 12 discretionary development quotas. I'm not sure if the USSA ends up using all of them. So, I guess an invite isn't outside the realm of possibility if he doesn't qualify.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Is he looking fairly good at this point or does he stand the snowball's chance?
A couple of 70 pt results in the same discipline (which he just scored) wont get him ranked in the top 250 in the country -

The USSA Western Region Quota to Nationals is 13 men, as Bob stated above, of which the 1st 4 selections are based on the Sum of their Europa Cup/Nor-Am points. (Phil doesn't qualify for that level).
Go to: http://www.ussa.org/PublishingFolder...al_Draft_1.pdf, pages 13-16 to understand how the remaining quota of 9 is filled.

The "Western Region" of USSA encompasses everything West of Colorado: Northern, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Far West, Intermountain.

9 slots. Filling it using SL, GS, SG, DH.

Maybe 2008 for Phil.
post #17 of 22
On Jan 5 he was for sure better - SL - 2nd, .8 out wearing bib 85. A 41 result.

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.ht...L&raceid=47101

Will he be stronger in GS?
post #18 of 22
Well, there could be a smidgeon more due to racers not competing in all events, but, yep, that's pretty much it.

So, he's got to get his points down to, oh, let's guess <30 to have a snowball's chance. So, it'll take several more races (with most likely wins) with a top-rated field so the penalty doesn't get him.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by whygimf View Post
On Jan 5 he was for sure better - SL - 2nd, .8 out wearing bib 85. A 41 result.

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.ht...L&raceid=47101

Will he be stronger in GS?
You answered you own question whygimf, it was the GS. BTW take a look at the second run which he won, an old teamate set it, could it be per another thread that this coach set the course for a pair of "older knees"???

http://www.mammothmountain.com/ski_r...isone&race=239

- Fossil
post #20 of 22
GS has changed a lot since Phil has left, but it is still essentially the same discipline. Slalom has become something completly different in the last 20 years. It is a lot faster and is a lot rougher on the body: a 50 years old guy, olympic medalist or not, cannot hope to compete with guys 30 years younger than him there. Remember that when Phil left, crossblock wasn't the norm, there wasn't as many funky combination and the break-away gates acted a lot differently.

GS, being the cornerstone of racing, hasn't changed much, altough it still has more offest and is considerably faster (no one would run it sans helmet like the Mahre did nowadays). If Phil goes to the Nationals, it will be in GS (and he seems poised to take a good run at it).
post #21 of 22
A quick look at Phil's race results at the FIS Tech Series in Utah shows that, when facing a much more competitive pool (a fair number of NCAA skiers are in the mix), it's harder to move up.

In SL, he finished 56th (97 point result) 42nd (90 point result), still starting in the "max points" section of the field. He was well off the pace in both runs (approx. 4 seconds per run).

In GS, he had a DNF in the first race and finished 49th (84 point result) - again starting in the "max points" section of the field. He was between 3 and 4 seconds off the leader's pace in each run.

So Phil's still got a helluva mountain to climb. I think it's more realistic for him to aim at the 2008 Nationals, once he gets some better start positions.
post #22 of 22

NY Times

January 15, 2007

A New Hill to Descend: Mahre Returns With Big Goal

By NATHANIEL VINTON

WENGEN, Switzerland, Jan. 14 — Which man deserves the title of America’s greatest ski racer ever, Phil Mahre or Bode Miller? It is an argument that warms the sport’s fans during many a cold chairlift ride, and the debate breaks along a generational divide.

But as Miller zeroes in on the records Mahre set in the ’80s, Mahre has set out to modify his own résumé. This month, Mahre, 49, entered an internationally sanctioned race series at Mammoth Mountain in California. Competing alongside high school racers as young as 15, Mahre started 85th, when the snow surface was ripped to shreds, making racing slow and painful. He finished second. Watch your back, Bode.

Mahre, the 1984 Olympic slalom champion, shared the podium with two men born in 1986, two years after he retired. Within hours, coaches of a certain age were reigniting the great chairlift debate, e-mailing the results around.

“Things have gone well, and in some respects better than planned,” Mahre wrote recently in an e-mail message from Utah, where he competed last week in four more races. “Hopefully I can continue on the same upward swing and make this a reality.”

Mahre has set a goal of qualifying for the United States national championships next season, where at 50 he would compete against the whippersnappers on the United States ski team. This year, he simply hoped to establish a world ranking, but with results like the one in California, it is possible that he will qualify for this year’s edition of the championships.

“Better him than me,” said Tamara McKinney, Mahre’s former teammate, widely considered the country’s greatest female racer. “It’s not an easy sport at any age, but Phil’s in great shape.”

McKinney, 44, won 18 World Cup races and the overall World Cup title in 1983. She now sells real estate and coaches 10-year-old racers near Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Mahre has neither the intention, nor the joints — a broken ankle in 1979 required seven screws and a two-inch plate to reconstruct — to return to racing’s most elite circuit, but his modest comeback is noteworthy because it coincides with Miller’s assault on his position as the top American on the World Cup career victories list.

On Saturday, Miller crashed through the finish line to win the prestigious Lauberhorn downhill here, giving him his 25th career World Cup victory, two behind Mahre’s American record.

Asked about chasing Mahre, Miller said: “I don’t think of him that often. Obviously, he was a great champion. The U.S. hasn’t had many of those. He stands out in history of U.S. skiing as one of the few guys who really competed and won at the top level a significant number of times.” Mahre also showed little concern about having his record broken by Miller — whom he has criticized in the past. Miller is skiing strong now, a year after he failed to win medals in the five events he entered at the Olympic Games last year in Turin, Italy.

Those in Mahre’s corner point to the three years (1981-83) when he won the sport’s most prestigious trophy, the overall World Cup title. Miller did it only once, in 2005.

While Mahre was a “technical specialist,” racing giant slalom and slalom, Miller does every event, passing up chances to rest and train, and once swept victories in each of the sport’s disciplines in a record 16-day stretch.

Both are known for strong opinions and fearless independence.

There have been sea changes in ski equipment since Mahre retired, some of them driven by Miller’s experimentation. But Mahre has kept pace by running the Mahre Training Centers, a race camp. The digital revolution has been harder to keep pace with. In Mahre’s heyday, the United States team used a massive video camera and tripods so they could watch race video. Now, even junior racers travel with laptops, downloading World Cup footage that they compare side-by-side with video of their own skiing. One of the most important weapons in a skier’s arsenal is video analysis software that allows them to chart their speed fluctuations and to overlay images of themselves in different training runs. The United States ski team even has a super-slow-motion camera that reveals problematic vibrations of the ski that are invisible to the unassisted eye.

For now, Mahre takes the more old-fashioned approach of the “Rocky” movies of his day: He trains really, really hard. “I haven’t done much video stuff,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this winter. “For me, it’s just volume — getting 12 runs on a course and three or four more freeskiing. If you’re on top of your game, you can go back and do quality work, but for me it’s quantity.”

Adam Chadbourne, the head coach at Vermont’s elite ski school, the Burke Mountain Academy, invited Mahre to train with the team on a Austrian glacier and said Mahre blew the teenagers away as he lapped them on the training course’s chairlift. “He was a great inspiration to them,” Chadbourne said.

That approach is apparently already putting Mahre on track for his goal. “He’s an incredible athlete, just the way Bode is,” said James Cochran, a United States ski team racer. “It sounds like he’s going to make nationals. Hopefully he won’t beat us.” Cochran descends from the Cochran clan of Vermont that won a heap of Olympic and World Cup medals in the seventies. He races on the World Cup now, so he views the who’s-the-greatest debate from an authoritative perspective.

“Bode is definitely the Phil Mahre of our time,” Cochran said.
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