Team Canada podiums in Whistler Cup for second day 

Event wraps up with awarding of Nations Cup Sunday

PHOTO BY SCOTT BRAMMER COASTPHOTO.COM
  • Photo By Scott Brammer Coastphoto.com

Despite challenging conditions and weather Canada's Amelia Smart dominated the U16 ladies' giant slalom Saturday, winning both runs to earn gold during the second day of competition at the Whistler Cup, while Jack Crawford and Riley Seger, both Whistler Mountain Ski Club members took silver and bronze, respectively, in the U16 men's slalom in Whistler, B.C.

Smart, 15, of Invermere, B.C., skied a fast first run in challenging snow conditions and had almost a two-second lead heading into the second run. She attacked the course with a clean line in the second run and again posted the fastest time, winning gold by more than two seconds.

"It feels pretty good. I was pretty nervous for the first run because it was super soft snow, but I attacked it and skied my best and it paid off," said Smart, who skis with Team Panorama and was named to Team Canada's squad for the Whistler Cup. "Second run I did the same thing and attacked as much as I could. I think I just had a good line."

Smart posted a two-run combined time of one minute, 53.15 seconds.

"Amelia completely dominated the women's giant slalom," said Nigel Cooper, Alpine Canada's manager of athlete development. "She took no prisoners. I think it had a lot to do with her making some really good adjustments to the conditions we got delivered here, which, ironically aren't her type of conditions.

"She chose a line and a tactic that was really fast, which was really mature of her. Pretty impressive ski racing."

Japan's Mio Arai was second (1:55.23), and Kathryn Parker of Australia was third (1:56.28).

"In the first run I wasn't quite satisfied, but in the second run I achieved my goal," Arai said with the help of a translator. "I am so happy."

"It feels great," added Parker of her race. "I ran pretty early in the first run, so it was a bit better than the second because the second was a bit bumpy. It's a really fun course. The Whistler Cup is a great experience."

Also in the top ten from Canada in the women's event were Stephanie Currie, Ali Nullmeyer, Sarah Taylor, Tyra Collombin and Elizabeth Daigle.

Saturday's men's slalom race saw head-to-head competition between Canada and Norway. Jack Crawford, from Toronto, Ont., fought his way through the pack from a late start number to take silver with a two-run combined time of 1:31.46, while Norway's Jens Harald Johannessen earned gold (1:30.56). Despite a slip in the second run, Riley Seger of North Vancouver, B.C., won bronze (1:32.32) after posting the fastest first run of the day.

Crawford and Seger were both on Friday's super-G podium, with Crawford winning gold and Seger taking silver.

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