Austrian juveniles again win Nations Cup
Alls well that ends well for the Canadians in the 11 th annual Sierra Wireless Air Canada Whistler Cup.
On April 6, the last day of competition, K1 Kelby Halbert of Bradford, Ontario, won the slalom silver medal and Canadas only podium of the weekend.
Still, while more medals would have been nice, Canada put at least one athlete in the top-15 of every race, and often placed one or more skiers in the top-10.
More importantly, Canadas top young alpine racers were given a chance to size up the competition from 18 different countries in the K1 (age 11 and 12) and K2 (age 13 and 14) categories, and realize that they can compete with the best in the world.
Once again Austria took the overall Nations Cup, presented to the team with the highest point total. Norway was the top K2 team and the Italian team was tops among the K1s.
Showing that the Olympic effect hasnt just rubbed off on the resurgent U.S. national team, the Team USA juveniles had an incredible weekend with medals in most events and a strong presence in the top-10.
Almost 300 juveniles from 18 different countries participated in this years Whistler Cup.
The Dave Murray Award, presented to the top Canadian K1 and K2 boys in the races, went to K1 Kelby Halbert and K2 Simon Mannella of Piedmont, Quebec. The Nancy Greene Award, which is presented to the top Canadian girls, went to K1 Erin Mielzynski of Ontario, and K2 Caroline Brault of Piedmont, Quebec.
Day 3 April 6 Results
Ontarios Kelby Halbert was the big story on the third and final day of racing.
"I was expecting to finish in the top-15," said Halbert. "I was really surprised to end up in second place. I was really nervous at the start, but something my coach Norm said really helped. He said; go for it, dont hold anything back."
Tall for his age, the 12-year-old from the Toronto Ski Club cleared two runs of the course in one minute, 18.97 seconds, edging out Masdal Knut of Norway.
The gold medal went to Colby Granstrom of the Team USA with a time of 1:16.95, who blew away the competition from the start with an incredible first run.
Granstrom won the giant slalom the day before, and felt he had the slalom in the bag going in.
"Slalom is my best event so I was confident that I would do well today," he said. "I definitely met the goals that I had set coming into the competition. Whistler is really fun, and most of the athletes from around the world were really nice."