Whistler's own Morgan Pridy captured a national men's downhill title at home on Saturday, March 22, to kick off a busy day at the Sport Chek Canadian Alpine and Para-alpine Championships.
Later in the day, Britt Phelan and Phil Brown claimed victory in a special dual slalom held outside the GLC, as did Matt Hallat and Kurt Oatway in the para-alpine battles.
Pridy, who just wrapped up a great season that included a 10th-place finish in super-G at the Olympics, posted a winning time of one minute, 4.01 seconds on the Dave Murray National Training Centre course. Tyler Werry placed second and Ben Thomsen finished third.
"It's super cool to have a national championship title," said Pridy, who also won the FIS downhill held the day before. "I got a little bit of luck with the conditions - a couple of course holds here and there and fog coming in and out - but it all worked out. I'm super happy."
Older brother Conrad Pridy finished eighth, while Whistler skiers Cameron Alexander, Blake Ramsden and Brodie Seger all posted top-20 finishes.
The Pridy brothers instantly became two of the favourites after fellow Whistler Mountain Ski Club product Manuel Osborne-Paradis pulled out of the race Saturday with a back injury, leaving most of the Canadian Cowboys out of the field.
"I would have liked to have raced Johnny (Kucera), Manny, Erik (Guay) and Jan (Hudec) for the title but that's how it works and I'm pretty pleased with the result, for sure," said Morgan.
Junior skier Roni Remme picked up the women's national downhill title on Friday, March 21, to open up the week of Canadian Championship races.
The 18-year-old stopped the clock in 1:07.73 to win, holding off national team veterans Marie-Pier Prefontaine and Erin Mielzynski, who were second and third.
"It's definitely unexpected," said Remme. "I've always been more invested in the technical events and I just did my first downhill a couple of weeks ago. The goal is always to become the best all-around skier but I've never really thought about downhill."
Pemberton's Charley Field finished less than one-tenth of a second off the podium to place fourth. Mikayla Martin placed 11th for the next-best local result.
On Saturday afternoon, Phelan went undefeated on the dual slalom course to win the double-knockout event at Skiers Plaza. She beat out Madison Irwin in the final to earn the victory.
"Duals are super fun," said Phelan. "You kind of use the ambiance of the crowd to get pumped up. I just tried to go straight and as hard I could out of the start and maintain that the whole way. I just went for it and it worked out."
In the men's event, Dustin Cook was unbeaten all the way to the final, forcing Brown to beat him twice in the head-to-head format for the win.
Brown actually lost his first match-up of the day, falling to hometown hero Mike Janyk, but he'd earn his revenge later, beating Janyk on the B-side on his way to the final.
"This is a fun way to compete against each other and have some bragging rights," said Brown. "I think I got some feeling about halfway through the competition and the confidence started going up. I started getting a feel for the groove because it was pretty rutty, and before the finals I had a good feeling I was going to be able to take (Cook) down."
Matt Hallat beat Braydon Luscombe for the men's standing win, while Kurt Oatway defeated Josh Dueck for the men's sit ski victory.
The Canadian Championships continue on Sunday, March 23, with the women's super-G and the men's and women's para-alpine slalom.
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