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Whistler Cup gets under way

Canada gets 16 top-10 finishes out of a possible 20.



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"It felt pretty good. I was the first racer on course, so you're not really sure what's coming at you and you can't get a course report from anyone, but it went really well," said Seger, 15, who was named to Team Canada for this year's Whistler Cup. "It was little tough to see at the bottom, but other than that I felt like it was good.

"I'd like to congratulate all my teammates and thank all the volunteers for their hard work," he added.

Sixteen-year-old Mulligan, who is also racing with Team Canada at the Whistler Cup, was third (1:02.26) after a near fall on the bottom half of the course.

"It was really fun. The course was a lot easier than I thought it would be, so I ended up going really fast, which is always good," said Mulligan, who skis with the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club. "Down near the bottom I ended up getting a lot of air going around a gate, and I almost crashed, but I kept it together and I was happy with my result."

In the ladies' super-G - which was delayed intermittently for several hours due to rolling fog - Stephanie Currie of Toronto, Ont., earned silver as the top-placing Canadian (1:05:03).

Haley McKercher of Calgary, Alta., was third. The Sunshine Ski Club racer, 16, finished in 1:05.24.

Norway's Kajsa Lie Vickhoff was the ladies' super-G winner (1:04.06).

"It was really good. I had a nice start," Vickhoff said. "I've always dreamed about (a win) at the Whistler Cup."

Five other Canadian men and six additional women placed in the top 10, giving Canada 16 top-10 finishes out of a possible 20.

U14 racers also took to the slopes Friday to compete in the Kinder Kombi, which was a race that featured turns and skills from multiple racing disciplines.

In the men's U14 race, Whistler Mountain Ski Club's Kasper Woolley and Finn Iles were first (41.88) and second (42.39), respectively, and Hunter Watson, who skis with the Camp Fortune Ski Club, was third. (43.13).

In the ladies' race, Canada's Brianna MacDonald, who skis with the Osler Bluff Ski Club, took gold (42.07), while Japan's Chelsea Kumono claimed silver (42.57) and Saya Ohkoshi, also of Japan, earned bronze (42.82).

Nigel Cooper, Alpine Canada's manager of athlete development, was pleased with the Canadian contingent's results.

"As a nation, Canada did pretty good," he said. "This track is a big boys' and girls' track, so I think that familiarity with the track is really important. It's tough for some of these kids who have only had a few runs on it to gain that familiarity. Certainly we would have liked 100 more runs on the track, but we're satisfied with today given the experience we've had here.