Wert finishes second for Canada
Its been a season of comebacks for Picabo Street of the U.S., who was sidelined for all of last season with a torn ACL and broken femur she sustained in 1998.
At the Ingle Nor-Am downhill on Whistler Mountain Feb. 28, the former Olympic champion returned to form and the podium with a convincing win over a strong international field. She crossed the line in 1 minute 51.46 seconds almost three seconds ahead of teammate Suki Horton. Tatus Skoglund, also of the U.S., finished third.
The top Canadian in a tie for seventh with Rachel Roosevelt of the U.S., was junior team skier Kelly Vanderbeek of Kitchener, Ontario. Whistlers Christina Risler, also a member of the junior national team, finished 10th, and Ania Morton of the Alberta Team finished 15 th .
The mens downhill went to Marco Sullivan of Lake Tahoe, California, the Nor-Am leader after winning both downhills at Lake Louise in early January.
Rosslands Kevin Wert, a veteran of the World Cup circuit, took the silver, finishing less than half a second back of Sullivan. Wade Bishop of the U.S. was third.
Jeff Durand of Calgary was sixth, Whistlers Jeff Hume was 10th, David Anderson of Rossland was 12 th , and Ryan Oughtred of Kelowna was 14 th .
Race officials took advantage of the great weather to move the competition up a day, expecting snow later in the week. A second downhill was scheduled for March 1, mens and womens super-G races take place on March 2 and 3, and a mens GS will take place on March 4, weather permitting.