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Strong start for ski-cross racers

Sports briefs: Watts top Canadian man at Lillehammer; Whistler skiers off to Davos



A pair of Whistler ski-cross racers were jacked up to start the season earlier this month.

At a doubleheader at Alberta's Sunridge Ski Area, Whistler Mountain Ski Club racers Jack Morrow and Jack Macdonald each took a U16 victory, while taking a silver apiece as well.

Macdonald has been working at getting out of the gate quickly, which he said paid off in the Matrix Western Canadian Ski-Cross Series opener which featured American and Japanese racers.

Macdonald noted he and Morrow were on opposite sides of the grid to start both competitions, but they managed to work their way toward each other to meet in the finals.

"We're both very competitive and he's a very good opponent," he said. "We both train to the hardest. Even in the starting gate, we're just trying to get out of there as fast as possible."

Watts top Canadian man at Lillehammer

One of Reid Watts' biggest tests to this point in his career came in Lillehammer, Norway.

This past weekend, one of his top FIL World Cup results happened there, too.

Watts was the top Canadian at the race, finishing 20th overall, 0.84 seconds behind winner Dominik Fischnaller of Italy. Russia's Roman Repilov took second and Austria's Wolfgang Kindl was third. As for other Canucks, Samuel Edney was 24th and Mitchel Malyk was 26th.

Watts, who claimed third at the Youth Olympics in Lillehammer in 2016, was happy overall with the showing and is looking forward to the final World Cup race of the season in Sigulda, Latvia, this weekend.

On the women's side in Lillehammer, Alex Gough was the lone Canadian, finishing 11th while American Summer Britcher bested Germans Natalie Geisenberger and Julia Taubitz for the win. In the doubles event, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith took 12th while Germany's Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken took the victory over Austria's Peter Penz and Georg Fischer and fellow Germans Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arit.

Whistler skiers heading to World Juniors

Whistler Mountain Ski Club is sending four athletes to the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Davos, Switzerland from Jan. 30 to Feb. 8.

In an announcement on Jan. 23, Alpine Canada revealed Stefanie Fleckenstein is set to return to the event, as will Jack Crawford and Riley Seger, while Cam Alexander will make his debut.

Freestylers medal at Panorama

Freestyle Whistler had a strong showing at Panorama to kick off the Timber Tour series.

In slopestyle, Ben Lynch topped the U16 men's podium while Hugo St. Jacques took third. Caoimhe Heavey topped the U14 women's podium. Others took home medals, too, as Cassidy Butterworth was third among U16 women, Caden Ferguson and Aidan Mulvihill were second and third for U14 boys and Julien Chartrand was third for U18 boys.

In moguls, Lynette Conn scored the U14 women's win, while Butterworth topped the podium for the U16s. As for the U14 boys, Philip Kang and Oscar Van Dongen finished first and second.

In dual moguls, meanwhile, Van Dongen and Flynn Mooney took first and second in U14 while Emilia Oziewicz topped the U14 women's podium and Butterworth was second among the U16s.

As for the Super Youth, Jessie Dawson and Landon Owen-Mold stood out in the moguls event, winning the U14 women's and U12 men's events, respectively.

The two repeated the feat in the slopestyle, with Deston Swift also claiming the U14 men's win and Aidan Dawson taking third for U10 men.

Dawson, Owen-Mold and Swift also won their respective divisions in the big air.

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