Home grown talent will be hard to beat in nationals
Returning to Whistler for the second year in a row, the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships showcases the best racers in Canada, present and future over 10 days of competition starting next week.
If last years results are any indication, Whistler skiers figure strongly both in the present and future of the national program.
Britt Janyk, 22, who is in her second year with the national team, led the way last year with gold medals in the super G and giant slalom, a silver in the slalom and a sixth place finish in the downhill.
"Im definitely looking forward to coming home and racing," said Janyk, who is in Norway for the World Cup finals. "I know the runs so I can relax a little more."
This year the mens field will be missing her younger brother Michael, 20, who finished fourth in the slalom and GS, and sixth in super G last year to finish first among the juniors. Michael Janyk is out for the season after sustaining a knee injury in training last fall.
Whistlers Jeff Hume, who turned heads on the World Cup and Europa Cup circuits this year with his aggressive style, will be back in the national championships after finishing fourth in the super G and third in the downhill last season.
Christina Risler, 19, finished second overall in the downhill, eighth in the super G and 14 th in the giant slalom to rank as one of the top juniors last year.
This years championships run from March 17 to 27, and feature 14 different races over nine days.
The list of competitors includes members of the national team, national development team, provincial teams, and top club racers. In addition, the championships are the fifth and final races in the Pontiac GMC Cup Series, a Canada-wide tour that is a stepping stone to the national team.
Coming into the championships, Aaron Civitarese and James Finlayson, both Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumni, lead the overall standings with 2,450 and 2,185 points respectively. Other WMSC graduates to watch for include Marcus Waring in 16 th , and Ben Chaddock 18 th .
In the womens standings, Janelle Miller of Lethbridge, Alberta leads the way.
From Whistler, Charlotte Whitney, Alison Leighton, Rachel Walker, Kayla Benbow, and Anastasia Skryabina are ranked fifth, sixth, 11 th , 12 th and 24 th respectively.
Mar. 18 to 20 Downhill training, men and women
Mar. 21 mens FIS Downhill; womens Canadian Championship Downhill
Mar. 22 womens FIS Downhill; mens Canadian Championship Downhill
Mar. 23 mens and womens Canadian Championship Super G; Provincial Dual Slalom
Mar. 24 Womens Canadian Championship Giant Slalom
Mar. 25 Mens Canadian Championship Giant Slalom
Mar. 26 Womens Canadian Championship Slalom
Mar. 27 Mens Canadian Championship Slalom
The schedule for the races will be announced early next week, and are subject to change as a result of weather conditions. Visit www.canski.org for up-to-date information.