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Women outshine men in moguls


Heil medals, Ringstad qualifies for Olympics

Although the Canadian men typically dominate the top spots in World Cup moguls competition, in Oberstdorf, Germany last weekend it was the women who finish on top.

Jennifer Heil, 18, who is in her second season with the Canadian National Freestyle Ski Team, won her first World Cup individual moguls medal of the season with a bronze medal performance on Jan. 6, behind Shannon Bahrke and Hannah Hardaway of the U.S.

In her rookie year last season, the Spruce Grove, Alberta, native won a bronze, a silver, and placed seventh at the World Championships in Whistler.

Known for her jumps, Heil got off to a slow start this year.

"The first two contests hadn’t gone very well. I hadn’t made the finals, but today I just got back to basics and everything came together, and felt great all day," she said.

She wasn’t alone in her celebrations: two other members of the national team made the finals, Whistler skiers Kelly Ringstad and Tami Bradley.

"It was a great day," Heil said. "It’s really exciting to have three of us in this women’s final."

Ringstad, who finished 12 th at Tignes, France in December, finished in sixth place overall to qualify for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Bradley, who was ninth in Germany, and Heil had already made the cut.

Her victory was subdued after her boyfriend, Jim Schiman of Cornerbrook, B.C., crashed in the semi-final round on the previous day. Schiman was vying with Ryan Johnson and Scott Bellevance for the fourth position on the men’s team and could have clinched the spot with a good performance.

As a result of the crash Schiman will undergo reconstructive knee surgery, and will miss the rest of the competitive season.

The top Canadian male in Germany was Quebec’s Stephane Rochon. Although he was ninth, he is still wearing the World Cup leader’s bib after a strong start to the season.

Rochon, Jean-Luc Brassard, and Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau have already qualified for the Olympics, although Rousseau was less than pleased with the judging last weekend.

"I did everything I needed to do and I was 14 th ," he said. "A lot of people get mad because of the scores but I’ve never been in that situation (until today). I was on the podium before with more mistakes."

Brassard was 17th, Johnson 18 th and Bellavance 51 st .

The moguls team will head to France next weekend for the final two qualifying competitions for the Olympics. The aerials team will be at Mont Tremblant.