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Freestyle domination continues

Alexandre Bilodeau takes gold once again

Canada's domination in the sport of moguls continued last weekend with Canadian men and women once again taking two out of the top three spots in the dual slalom at Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic.

Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau took the gold medal once again - his second gold and sixth medal this season, after a slow start. He edged out rookie and teammate Mikael Kingsbury in the final dual for the second race in a row.

It was Kingsbury's eighth World Cup or World Championship medal this season, and Kingsbury is closing in on French skier Guilbaut Colas for the overall moguls title - while Bilodeau is closing in on him.

"This is a challenging course because it's short, and while it starts out fairly steep it quickly goes to about 10 degrees," said Bilodeau. "It's hard to gain time on such a short course and you have to keep your run really clean because any small mistake will cost you. With (Kingsbury) and me it was really tight because neither of us made any mistakes."

Jeremy Cota of the U.S. picked up the bronze after winning his final duel against Nobuyuki Nishi of Japan. Cedric Rochon was 11th for Canada.

The Canadian women didn't take the gold medal, with Hannah Kearney of the U.S. building on her incredible season, Jenn Heil picked up the silver and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe the bronze. Audrey Robichaud and Justine Dufour-Lapointe were fourth and sixth respectively.

"I was in complete control for most of the run and was a little ahead of (Kearney), but I landed deeply on my second jump and that hurt me," said Heil. "That's a risk you take when you don't hold back."

In the aerials final the previous week at Minsk-Raubichi, Belarus the win went to hometown hero Anton Kushnir, followed by Stanislav Kravchuk of Ukraine and Denis Osipau, also from Belarus. Warren Shouldice had a disappointing day after slapping his back on the ground on his second air to place ninth.

"I had a great first jump today, but I missed my takeoff on my second jump, probably because I subconsciously felt too fast," said Shouldice. "Sure, I'm disappointed with today's event, but overall this has been a dream season for me. My goal was to win Worlds and I achieved that. Plus, the second most important event for me was the Calgary World Cup (and) to win at home was amazing."

Travis Gerrits, who placed sixth at Worlds, took home FIS's Aerials Rookie of the Year Award for this season.

On the women's side, China's Shuang Cheng and Fanyu Kong were first and third, with Ashley Caldwell of the U.S. in second. Sabrina Guerin was the top Canadian in fifth place, matching her personal best.


Hicks wins another NorAm

Whistler skier Eddie Hicks led the Canadian efforts at the recent NorAm Cup competition at Killington, Vermont, leading the podium sweep that the team has wanted since the start of the season.

In fact, the team managed to place first through fourth in the single moguls competition, with Hicks coming close to his goal of 26 points from the judges. Simon Pouliot Cavanagh was second, Marc-Antoine Gagnon third and Arnaud Laurin-Landry fourth out of 55 competitors.

In the women's moguls, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe placed third behind Americans K.C. Oakley and Ali Kariotis.

Canada snapped up two more medals in dual moguls with Pouliot Cavanagh and Gagnon placing second and third behind American Bradley Wilson. Hicks placed 10th in that competition.

No Canadians were on the podium on the women's side, with Alexandra Defresne coming closest in fifth place.

There were also two halfpipe events at Killington. In the first, Garrett Northey was the top Canadian in third, while Whistler's Simon D'Artois placed fifth. Cassie Sharpe was second out of four athletes on the women's side.

On the second day, Max Heard was the top Canadian in the contest in third place, while D'Artois moved back to 11th. Meagan Fiselier and Cassie Sharpe were second and third.


B.C. Cup results from Silver Star

The Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Club took part in a B.C. Cup event at Silver Star from Feb. 18 to 21, with several athletes finishing on the podium.

In moguls, F3 (age 13 and 14) skier Whistler's Sophie McGregor placed third; Jake McGregor was fifth in M2 (15 and 16); Brenden Kelly and Taylor Wilson were fifth and 18th in M3; Mitchell Wilson was first in M4 (age 11 and 12), with Tim Ravenna in 14th and Liam Measure in 19th.

In the younger Super Youth series, Mackenzie Wilson was first and Sofiane Gagnon fourth in F5 (ages 9-10). Erin Wilson was fourth in F6 (ages 7-8). Ben Wilkinson and Jonas Gabelhouse were sixth and seventh in M5, with Carter Krasny in 12th out of 27 competitors. In M6, Anders and Chase Ujejski were first and second, David Wilkinson was fourth, Seth McGregor seventh and Charlie McMillan 13th.

In Slopestyle, Sophie McGregor was sixth, Jake McGregor 11th, Brandon Woods 18th, Taylor Wilson first, Brenden Kelly seventh, Michael Granger 11th, Mitchell Wilson first, Liam Measure fifth and Tim Ravenna sixth.

In the second slopestyle, Sophie McGregor was fifth, Jake McGregor eighth, Taylor Wilson first, Brenden Kelly fifth, Michael Granger sixth, Mitchell Wilson first, Liam Measure third and Tim Ravenna eighth.

In the B.C. Super Youth category, Sofiane Gagnon was first in the slopestyle in F5 (ages 9 to 10), with Mackenzie Wilson in eighth. Erin Wilson (not to be outdone by her brothers) won the F6 category (ages 7 and 8). Jonas Gabelhouse was 10th in M5. David Wilkinson, Chase Ujejski, Anders Ujejski and Seth McGregor were first, second, fourth and eighth in M6, with Charlie McMillan in 14th.