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    Saturday, January 31, 1998

    Vets qualify for Olympics

     MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) -- Ex-alpine ski racers Betsy Shaw of East Dorset, Vt., and Sondra Van Ert of Ketchum, Idaho, 32-year-old "old ladies in a kid's sport," earned spots on the first Olympic Snowboarding Team Saturday with top results in the final qualifying race.
     Shaw won the women's giant slalom at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in 2 minutes, 16.77 seconds with Canadian Julie Rheaume second and Van Ert third on the final day of the $225,000 Bud Light Grand Prix. The Olympic team, heading to the Winter Games Feb. 7-22 in Nagano, Japan, was to be announced Saturday night, based solely on results from the three-event series.
     Another Canadian, Jasey Jay Anderson, won themen's GS in 2:08.38 with Chris Klug of Aspen, Colo., second in 2:08.76. Adam Hostetter of Tahoe City, Calif., and former World Cup champion Mike Jacoby of Hood River, Ore., clinched Olympic spots by finishing third and fourth.
     "Oh, I don't know if I'm ready for the media and the stuff about 'old ladies' with me and Sondra," Shaw, who had the fastest time on each run, said with a grimace in the finish area.
     "This was the first time in a while I felt pressured, that I had to get a result -- and that always makes things a little difficult. I had no room to make a mistake or crash or not finish. I had to get a result."
     Van Ert, gold medalist in GS in the 1997 FIS World Snowboard Championships, was seventh after the first run but just .01 behind Shaw to earn her Olympic spot.
     "Between runs all I could think off as that all my family has tickets to Japan and I better be going with them," Van Ert said. "I tried to stay really aggressive and was yelling at myself the whole time. Apparently I pushed myself hard enough to make up for the parts I flubbed."
     Van Ert, a World Cup racer with the U.S. Ski Team in the mid-1980s, said she was nervous but always laughs at references to her age. "We're just a couple of old ladies in a kid's sport but sometimes we show 'em how to do it," she laughed.
     Jacoby overcame nerves and a lack of sleep to draw closer to reaching his dream of doing well in the Olympics as snowboarding makes its debut.
     "I was up at 1:30 and then just about every hour through the night," he said.
     Eleventh in the morning run, he conceded he was nervous before the second run.
     "I was trying to relax but I was realizing my dream could be over and I'd have to go another four years for it. ... I kept saying 'Just race, just race."'
     Hostetter was greeted in the finish area by his golden retriever, Willy.
     "He's the one who makes everything happen," Hostetter said. "He's always excited and I try to go by his motto to be psyched all the time. It works sometimes."

     Snowboard Results
     MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) -- Leading results Saturday from the final Olympic qualifier in the $225,000 Bud Light Snowboard Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area:

     Giant Slalom
     1. Jasey Jay Anderson, Canada, 2 minutes, 8.38 seconds.
     2. Chris Klug, Aspen, Colo., 2:08.76.
     3. Adam Hostetter, Tahoe City, Calif., 2:09.88.
     4. Mike Jacoby, Hood River, Ore., 2:10.57.
     5. Jeremy Jones, Sugarloaf, Maine, 2:10.59.
     6. Steve Persons, Whitefish, Mont., 2:10.65.
     7. Tom Lyman, Whitefish, Mont., 2:10.98.
     8. Travis McLain, Snowmass, Colo., 2:11.24.
     9. Ian Price, Manchester Center, Vt., 2:11.27.
     10. Nelson Jenson, Canada, 2:11.28.
     1. Betsy Shaw, E. Dorset, Vt., 2:16.77.
     2. Julie Rheaume, Canada, 2:18.28.
     3. Sondra Van Ert, Ketchum, Idaho, 2:18.86.
     4. Leslee Olson, Bend, Ore., 2:19.15.
     5. Stacia Hookom, Edwards, Colo., 2:19.80.
     6. Lisa Kosglow, Boise, Idaho, 2:20.45.
     7. Erin O'Malley, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 2:24.50.
     8. Julie Zell, Jackson, Wyo., 2:24.68.
     9. Madeleine Hengge, 2:24.85.
     10. Lynn Ott, Bend, Ore., 2:25.16.