Efforts of frustrating week rewarded with B.C. skier named to national team
With weather system after weather system disrupting this years Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships in Whistler, three national titles mens and womens downhill and womens super G were not decided. Still, the volunteer Weasel Workers and organizers managed to run seven out of 10 events during some of the snowiest 10 days in Whistler history.
In the final two days of competition, March 26 and 27, the organizers did not manage to get off any speed events, but managed to hold mens and womens FIS giant slalom races. That effort paid off for Christina Lustenberger. The Invermere skiers result in the FIS GS, coupled with a fifth in the national championship GS, secured her a spot on the national team.
Whistlers Britt Janyk, who won the national slalom and giant slalom titles earlier in the week, was golden once again to go three-for-three at home.
Janyks time of two minutes, 33.15 seconds gave her a convincing lead over the rest of the pack.
Emily Brydon of Fernie was second in 2:34.36, 1.21 seconds back of Janyk. Brigitte Acton of Sault St. Marie, Ontario, one of Canadas most promising young skiers, was a close third in 2:34.41.
Whistlers Rachel Walker was the next-best local racer, finishing 16 th . Kendall Benbow was 28 th , Anastasia Skryabina was 39 th , and Alison Leighton and Charlotte Whitney 43 rd and 44 th respectively.
In the mens FIS giant slalom, the event ended as a tie between David Anderson of Rossland and Erik Guay of Tremblant, Quebec.
Anderson, who is a speed event racer by trade, made up for his frustration in not being able to race the downhill course with a solid performance in the GS. He managed the second-fastest first run behind Guay, and the third-fastest second run to finish with a total time of 2:36.93 on the long course.
Guay posted an identical time, and was not bothered by the fact that he gave up his lead in the second run.
"Its been a good championships," said the 21-year-old Guay, who also won gold in the mens super G.
"Its very important for us to have this opportunity. The Austrians are in training camps right now in Norway," he said.
Guay, who missed some of this season with an injury, is already focusing on his training program for next season. "I have to get large this summer and put on weight," he said.
Third place went to Ryan Semple of Ottawa in 2:37.63, moving from seventh place after the first run into the bronze medal position.
From the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, Burnabys Mike Giannelli, Quesnels Brian Bennett and Whistlers Jeff Hume finished eighth, ninth and 10 th respectively. Scott Hume was 13 th , Ben Chaddock 36 th , Trevor Conroy 39 th , James Finlayson 44 th , Marcus Waring 48 th , Chris Colpitts 50 th , Jerry McArthur 61 st , and Darren Chadock 62 nd .
The national championships also wrapped up the Pontiac GMC Cup Series. A pair of racers from Northern Ontario took home the series hardware in a close race.
In the womens cup race, Brigitte Acton of Sault Ste. Marie won the trophy with 830 points, 40 more than Anna Goodman of Pointe Claire, Quebec. National team member Gail Kelly of Ste. Anges de Beauce, Quebec and Shona Rubens of Calgary tied for third was with 580 points apiece.
Cameron Culbert of North Bay, Ontario won the mens title, edging out Brad Spence of Calgary 630 to 625. Louis Florjancic of Scarborough, Ontario, was third with 610 points.
Whistlers James Finlayson was seventh with 510 points, and Whistler Mountain Ski Club veteran Brian Bennett was seventh with 440.