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Emeline Bennett, Kaleb Barnum win Ski Cross Junior Worlds

Nick Katrusiak locks up silver in Sweden
Team Canada had plenty to celebrate at the 2024 Ski Cross Junior Worlds in Idre Fjäll, Sweden.

Whistlerites reeled in two of Canada's three medals this Sunday at the FIS Ski Cross Junior World Championships in Idre Fjäll, Sweden. 

Emeline Bennett repeated her golden performance from 2023, becoming the first Canadian with two Junior Worlds crowns on her resume. Kaleb Barnum claimed victory on the men’s side with teammate Nicholas Katrusiak in runner-up position. 

“I was a little nervous coming in,” Bennett told reporters after winning all her heats. “It’s definitely a bigger track than last year but we had a lot of time on it and I started to feel pretty comfortable. I really wasn’t sure it was going to happen though. I was dead last at one point in the semis, but used the draft at the bottom to make up some places. I’ve very happy with the result.”

Barnum, competing in the opposite bracket from Katrusiak, likewise prevailed in each of his four heats. 

"It feels pretty sweet,” said the smiling junior worlds rookie from Fernie in a release. “It was a super exciting day and it was a good time racing Nick in the finals, with us coming from opposite sides of the bracket. It was fast racing today on a big track with a great drag strip at the bottom.”

Katrusiak has seen steady improvement on the global stage. The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) alum placed 19th in 2022 and ninth last year before his inaugural Junior Worlds medal. 

"It feels really good,” remarked Katrusiak in a release. “I put in a lot of work this past year and it feels good to have it all come together. Kaleb and I had a fun battle in the finals and it was a really good day for the team.”