Luger Watts 32nd in World Cup debut 

Sports briefs: Seger wins in Nakiska; Renzoni hits three podiums

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JIM BENNETT - get out the brooms L to R: Erin Dawson, Ella Renzoni and Meg Swaffield pulled off a podium sweep in U16 giant slalom action on Jan. 8.
  • Photo by Jim Bennett
  • get out the brooms L to R: Erin Dawson, Ella Renzoni and Meg Swaffield pulled off a podium sweep in U16 giant slalom action on Jan. 8.

Reid Watts kicked his second run up a notch in his FIL Viessmann World Cup debut in Sigulda, Latvia.

Sitting at 32nd after the first run, the young luger had the 30th-best go in his second attempt, but was unable to rise in the standings.

Watts shaved over half a second between runs, starting with a 49.839-second showing before posting a 49.320 time for a combined one minute, 39.159 seconds (1:39.159). That placed him 2.843 seconds behind winner Felix Loch of Germany, while Russia's Semen Pavlichenko and USA's Tucker West rounded out the podium finishers.

Fellow Canadian Mitch Malyk placed 22nd.

Watts qualified for the big race through the Nation's Cup race the day before, snagging the final position with a 19th-place run.

Seger wins, Fleckensteins strong at FIS Nakiska

Riley Seger rocked and rolled down the hill on his way to a win at Nakiska on Jan. 6.

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) alumnus, now with the BC Ski Team, scored a one-run super-G win by besting Karl Kuus by 0.73 seconds.

Cameron Alexander, meanwhile, placed fourth and Max Peiffer sixth.

The next day, Seger notched a second-place result in the giant slalom while Alexander was fourth, Max Kirshenblatt was ninth and Peiffer 10th.

Alexander later hit the podium himself with a third-place in the Jan. 8 giant slalom, while he took a 10th to Peiffer's sixth in slalom action on Jan. 9. Kirshenblatt, meanwhile, was seventh in the Jan. 10 slalom.

The Fleckenstein sisters, meanwhile, both hit the podium at various times in their time at Nakiska in FIS Series action.

Elder sister Stefanie, now with the BC Ski Team, placed second in the giant slalom on Jan. 7, just behind teammate Antonia Wearmouth. Younger sibling Katie, still a Whistler Mountain Ski Club member, took 10th.

In the Jan. 6 GS, Stefanie took second, WMSC's Gabrielle Smith was fourth, while Katie placed ninth.

Later on, Katie scored a silver of her own in the Jan. 9 slalom and then wrapped the week with a fifth in the Jan. 10 slalom.

Renzoni impresses with three podium showings

Ella Renzoni, hopefully, has a strong neck.

She'll need one to hold up all her medals from U16 Teck Open action at Sun Peaks from Jan. 8 to 10.

Renzoni won gold in both giant slalom races before settling for silver in slalom on the event's final day.

On Jan. 10, Maja Woolley took a bronze in slalom while Erin Dawson placed fourth, Sierra King seventh and Meg Swaffield 10th.

In the giant slalom on Jan. 9, Dawson took third, Swaffield fourth, King ninth and Gigi Kranjc 10th.

In the previous day's GS, in addition to Renzoni's win, Dawson and Swaffield completed a WMSC run on the podium while Woolley placed fifth.

As for the men, Nathan Romanin won second in the Jan. 10 slalom while Myles Kowalczyk placed sixth and Dawson Yates ninth.

On Jan. 9, in the giant slalom, Romanin was second and Kowalczyk third while Jack Forsyth placed fifth, Konstantin Petrovic was eighth and Yates ninth.

To kick things off on Jan. 8 with the GS, Kowalczyk took a second-place result while Forsyth placed fifth, Romanin seventh and Petkovic eighth.

Here in Whistler, athletes flooded the top 10 in U14 Teck Cup action.

In the Jan. 10 two-run slalom, Alexandra Chartrand, Virginia Nicolls and Hailey Nelson took the podium spots while Freya Jumonville was fourth, Tara Brudar was sixth, and Jaden Dawson, Caitlin Wallin and Sarah Berton were eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

In the first Jan. 9 one-run slalom, Chartrand and Nelson took the top two spots while Una Brudar took the third slot. Tara Brudar, Jumonville, Nicolls and Dawson placed fifth through eighth in order and Vera Bulowski placed 10th.

In the second slalom that day, Chartrand, Una Brudar and Nicolls hit the podium and Jumonville, Tara Brudar and Wallin were sixth through eighth.

As for the men, WMSC showed well in the Jan. 10 two-run event, as Tait Jordan, Lukas Forssander, Alexander Katrusiak, Luke Hoefer and James Gosnell took the top five spots in order while Skylar Beauregard and Matthias Shorter placed seventh and ninth, respectively.

In the first one-run event on Jan. 9, Ethan Shandro, Jordan and Katrusiak swept the podium while Forssander (fifth), Hoefer (sixth), Shorter (eighth) and Gosnell (ninth) also hit the top 10.

Things looked similar later in the day, with Shandro, Jordan and Katrusiak repeating, while Forssander jumped to fourth and Shorter to sixth, while Hayden Harley placed ninth and Gosnell 10th.

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Reid qualifies for Youth Olympic Games

Parker Reid punched his ticket to Lillehammer.

The local mono-bobsleigh athlete slid to a 12th-place finish in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Jan. 9. The two-run two-minute and 33.50 seconds (2:33.50) result, which was 3.47 seconds back of winner Maksim Ivanov of Russia, was good enough to qualify Reid for next month's Youth Olympic Games in Norway.

Fellow Canadian Carter Malyk placed 10th.

Yurkiw skis to second in historic race

Independent skier Larisa Yurkiw provided a bright spot for Canadians in FIS World Cup action in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria on the weekend.

In the ladies' downhill on Jan. 9, the Owen Sound, Ont. native took her second podium of the season with a second-place finish. Her two run time of two minutes, 12.17 seconds (2:12.17) was exactly a second behind American Lindsey Vonn, who pulled even with Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell for the most downhill wins with 36.

Austrian Cornelia Huetter rounded out the podium in third.

In the weekend's other race, Vonn downed Switzerland's Lara Gut and Huetter in the super-G while Canada's Marie-Pier Préfontaine was 35th.

The men's giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland was cancelled because of poor weather, though Trevor Philp placed 24th in the slalom.



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