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CAST finishes season on a high note


The Canadian Alpine Ski Team has seen its share of highs and lows during the 2001-2002 season, and recently more lows than highs.

From an administrative side, the Alpine Canada Alpin board recently relieved president Kerry Moynihan of his post. After a poor showing at the Olympics, the ACA also cancelled the men’s World Cup speed program for the rest of the season, firing all of the coaches and pledging to rebuild the program.

From an athletics side, the team failed to win a single medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Even the red-hot women’s team has cooled down in recent weeks, with racers lucky to crack the top 15 in most competitions.

The season did however end on a high note as five Canadians managed to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals at Flachau, Austria. The previous year only two Canadians, Melanie Turgeon and Allison Forsyth, qualified for the finals.

Thomas Grandi of Canmore, Alberta, finished 22 nd in the giant slalom event. He was 20 th in the GS rankings heading into the finals. His 23-year-old training partner, Jean-Philippe Roy of Ste-Flavie, Quebec, crashed on his first slalom run. He was 21 st in the slalom rankings before the finals.

"I’m happy with the way the season went," said the 29-year-old Grandi. "Having two racers in World Cup finals shows that together J.P. Roy and I make a strong team. We have to keep pushing each other and working together and we’re going to get good."

Melanie Turgeon of Beauport, Quebec, skied aggressively in the downhill competition and finished in 10th place after being ranked 19 th in the world. Turgeon, 25, also finished 12 th in the super-G finals, one one-hundredth of a second back of teammate Genevieve Simard.

"It’s been a very difficult season for Melanie," said coach Hugues Ansermoz. "With all the training she missed things were not going the way she wanted. But she had a good race in the Olympics and she focussed on race days this week and performed well.

Genevieve Simard, 21, of Val-Morin, Quebec, started the super-G season at Lake Louise with an 11 th place finish and ended it with another 11th at Flachau. In between the two races, she was a solid competitor who has emerged to become one of Canada’s top racers at the World Cup level.

She was named the Winterhur rookie of the year on the World Cup circuit for her efforts, which also landed her in the Olympics.

She also finished 18 th in the giant slalom at Flachau.

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