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Whistler skiers find life at Mars Cup


Scott Hume takes three gold medals in technical races

The Lower Cruiser run on Blackcomb Mountain is getting a workout these days, hosting a K2 speed camp and the Bob Parsons Memorial Downhill in recent weeks and the interprovincial Mars Cup FIS series last weekend. The run will be used in the 2010 Olympics, a detail that wasn’t lost on the athletes or organizers.

There were giant slalom races on Thursday and Friday and slaloms on Saturday and Sunday. The heavy snow on Sunday morning presented a few challenges for organizers, but they still managed to get the race underway.

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club figured heavily in each race, winning the lion’s share of medals.

In the first GS on Thursday, March 4 five WMSC girls finished in the top-15, with Anastasia Skryabina third with a time of two minutes, 30.95 seconds. She was followed by Charlotte Whitney in fifth, Andra Nedelcu in 10 th , Julia Murray in 11 th and Kendall Benbow in 15 th .

First place went to Janelle Miller of Lethbridge, Alberta with a time of 2:30.58. Vernon’s Lindsay Kraft was second in 2:30.95.

The Whistler men made a clean sweep of the podium on their first day of racing, with national team racers Scott and Jeff Hume claiming first and second with times of 2:17.45 and 2:19.51 respectively. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, fresh off a super G silver medal at the World Junior Championships two weeks before, finished third in 2:20.79.

Former WMSC racer and B.C. Ski Team athlete Brian Bennett was fifth, Chris Colpitts seventh, Matt Holler 12 th and K2 racer Conrad Pridy 13 th .

In the second GS on Friday, six WMSC girls finished in the top 15. Anastasia Skyrabina was third once again with a time of 2:32.60. Rachel Nixon was sixth, Charlotte Whitney seventh, Andra Nedelcu eighth, Alison Leighton 10 th and Julia Murray 14 th .

Calgary’s Kayla Birdgeneau took the gold in 2:31.07, followed by Banff’s Kristen Tarchuk.

In the second men’s GS Scott Hume claimed another convincing gold with an untouchable time of 2:21.79. Mark Bridgewater of New Zealand was second in 2:25.07, and Dustin Fraser of Quadra Island third in 2:25.61.

From Whistler, Matt Holler was 11 th .

Alison Leighton was the top WMSC skier in the slalom on Saturday, finishing fifth with a time of 1:45.96 over two runs. Charlotte Whitney was seventh, Andra Nedelcu eighth, and Rachel Nixon 10 th .

Kayla Birdgeneau finished on top in 1:42:91, followed by Kristen Tarchuk and Janelle Miller with times of 1:43.06 and 1:44.23 respectively.

Scott Hume took his third gold medal in the men’s slalom with a time of 1:30.77, almost five seconds faster than Jeff Crompton of Calgary in 1:35.46 and New Zealand’s Andrew Greig in 1:36.07.

Chris Colpitts was fourth and Matt Holler sixth.

On the last day of racing, Rachel Nixon finished second in the slalom for Whistler with a time of 1:40.85. Andra Nedelcu was fifth, Alison Leighton sixth, Anastasia Skryabina seventh, Larissa-Paige Avery 12 th , Julia Murray 13 th , Danielle Robson 14 th and Katherine Clark 15 th .

Janelle Miller was first in 1:40.21 and Lisa Gunoff of Calgary third in 1:41.06.

In the final men’s slalom, Chris Colpitts made his way to the podium in third place with a time of 1:39.00. Darren Chaddock was 14 th .

The gold went to Mark Bridgwater followed by Jeff Crompton.

The WMSC’s FIS racers will be competing next at the Pontiac GMC Cup Canadian National Championships at Mont Sainte Anne and Le Massif in Quebec from March 17 to 24.

The WMSC K1 skiers (age 11 and 12) will be competing in the provincial championships at Red Mountain from March 13 to 16.