Doing well in qualifying can help athletes hit the podium.
In Justin Dorey's case, it was directly responsible.
The Whistler resident took home gold from the Mammoth Grand Prix halfpipe event after organizers decided to cancel the finals on Feb. 6, meaning Dorey's leading score of 91.00 from the Feb. 4 qualifiers stood up as the winning result. He was the lone competitor to break 90, with his eight tricks, including a shiny new bone air 540, helping him to the strong showing.
"Going in to qualifiers I knew there was a chance that there wouldn't be finals," Dorey said in a release. "We looked at the weather forecast and we knew it would be very windy. It definitely changed the way I approached qualifiers to the way I usually would. The conditions were still extremely windy and sketchy. I just did the best run I possibly could and it worked out."
Squamish resident Mike Riddle placed fourth with an 84.00 score and Whistler's Simon d'Artois' tally of 77.20 stood up for ninth.
As for the ladies, Whistler resident Cassie Sharpe was the only Canadian to take part. She was less than a point off the podium with her score of 81.80.
"Cassie skied well on Wednesday," head coach Trennon Paynter said in the release. "Missing the podium by just a very small margin is a little tough. Fourth is still certainly a great result. I'm sure both her and Mike (Riddle) wanted to get on the podium and were a little disappointed to just barely miss it. But they should be happy with how well they skied."
WMSC silvers in Kimberley
Whistler Mountain Ski Club's Riley Seger nabbed a silver in Keurig FIS Super Series action at Kimberley Alpine Resort on Feb.9.
Seger scored the second-place showing in the slalom event, and finished as the top U18 athlete in the race, putting up a combined time of one minute, 49.49 seconds (1:49.49), while winner Dominic Unterberger was nearly a second quicker at 1:48.65.
Teammate Max Peiffer was fifth overall and the third U18 skier with a time of 1:52.69.
Two nights earlier, Ford Swette scored silver during the night slalom event, as he finished 0.2 seconds behind Unterberger after posting a 1:51.70. Peiffer was again fifth overall, Seger was eighth, and Kyle Yates was ninth.
On the ladies' side, WMSC's Rae Swette was the only local to make the top 10, finishing fifth overall and third in the U21 category. Her time of 1:50.63 placed her nearly three seconds back of winner Antonia Wearmouth's 1:47.91.
Swette was just off the podium in the night slalom event, taking fourth with a time of 1:59.69, placing her back of Amelia Smart's winning time of 1:56.47.
Racing continues until Feb. 13.
Cook claims silver, becomes final Canadian Cowboy
Alpine skier Dustin Cook enshrined himself in an exclusive club.
With a silver-medal showing in super-G at the FIS World Ski Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo. on Feb. 5, Cook was offered the eighth and final Canadian Cowboys buckle to join a group that includes former Whistler Mountain Ski Club competitors Mike Janyk and Manuel Osborne-Paradis.
Cook's time of one minute, 15.79 seconds (1:15.79) was just 0.11 seconds off of Austrian Hannes Reichelt's winning pace.
"I'm feeling pretty damn good right now," Cook said in a release. "A lot of things went right. It was just good, solid skiing like I have been doing for the past few weeks, without any mistakes."
Cook's silver foreshadowed another for the Canadian squad, as Canucks captured second place in the team event on Feb. 10.
The Canadians entered the event ranked 10th, but knocked off the No. 7 Germans, No. 2 Italians and No. 6 Swedes before falling to the top-ranked Austrians, the defending champions, in the final.