Schmid wins skicross World Cup opener

SAN CANDIDO, Italy -- American Casey Puckett has finished third in the skicross World Cup opener to help his chances of making the U.S. Olympic team.

Michael Schmid of Switzerland won the men's competition Monday, followed by Xavier Kuhn of France. Sweden's Anna Holmlund and Canada's Ashleigh McIvor finished 1-2 for the women.

Though the result doesn't guarantee Puckett a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, finishing on the podium in one of six World Cup events puts him in prime position.

Daron Rahlves, trying to qualify for skicross after going to the last three Olympics on the Alpine team, finished 13th. The second World Cup event is scheduled for Tuesday.