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U.S.'s Koznik shares victory with Oester

SHARE U.S.'s Koznik shares victory with Oester

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany — Kristina Koznick's first World Cup victory of the season gave her every reason to be encouraged for next month's Salt Lake City Olympics.

The Burnsville, Minn., skier shared first place Sunday with Marlies Oester of Switzerland, capitalizing on a strong first run to record her fifth career slalom win.

"I'm trying to plan it so I can peak for the Olympics going home," Koznick said. "I think I'm right on track."

Another American, Sarah Schleper, finished fifth.

Koznick and Oester completed two runs on the flat Goetschen slope in 1 minute, 56.30 seconds, taking advantage of a fall by first-run leader Anja Pearson of Sweden.

Koznick moved into contention to win the World Cup slalom season title with 418 points. France's Laure Pequegnot leads with 452, and Pearson is third with 400.

Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister kept the lead in the overall World Cup standings with 708 points, followed by Switzerland's Sonja Nef at 675, and Paerson at 629. Koznick is sixth with 467.

Koznick's first run of 55.79 Sunday was second only to Paerson's 55.18 and well ahead of the rest of the pack as fog and a drizzle of rain and soft snow fell.