Big finish for freestyle team 

The final weekend of World Cup freestyle competition at Sauze-D’Oulx, Italy saw Jennifer Heil crowned as the overall moguls champion, Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau on his second podium in as many weeks, and the overall team award for Canada.

Heil had the number one spot in the bag after a bronze medal the previous weekend, putting enough points between herself and challenger Kari Traa of Norway.

"Getting the globe while standing on the podium was one of the greatest moments of my life," said the 20-year-old Heil, a native of Spruce Grove, Alberta.

"I just hope to add a few more to it."

Heil was fifth in the World Cup final on Sunday after a conservative run. Traa took the gold.

"It’s a season I actually didn’t dream of after taking a season off (to recover from injuries," said Heil. "It’s always been one of my goals, to be more consistent. But to finally achieve it and be the best in the world, and sharing the honour with people like Jean-Luc Brassard (a past winner for Canada) is tremendous."

In the men’s event Rousseau earned a silver medal behind Janne Lahtela of Finland, who was also the men’s moguls champion. Marc-Andre Moreau of Chambly, Quebec was seventh and Garett Simm of Prince George eighth in the final event.

Canada finished on top of the Nations Cup standings, leading the U.S. team by a considerable margin.

Heil finished with 940 points to Traa’s 867, cracking the top-five in 12 of 14 World Cups. She earned three gold medals, four silver and two bronze.

The result also put her fifth in the overall freestyle rankings.

Although she has been out for almost two months with an injury, Stephanie St. Pierre of Victoriaville, Quebec finished eighth in the single moguls rankings.

The overall World Cup title went to Traa, who competed in both the single and dual moguls events with solid results. She was followed by a pair of halfpipe athletes, Marie Martinod of France and Virginie Faivre of Austria.

The men’s overall title went to Canadian Steve Omischl of North Bay, who was also the aerials championship. After kicking off the season with back to back gold medals at Mt. Buller in Australia, Omischl won four more gold medals, and three silver medals in 10 competitions.

He was trailed in the overall standings by a pair of halfpipe athletes, Mathias Wecxsteen and Laurent Favre of France.

In the men’s aerials standings behind Omischl were Dmitri Dashinski and Alexei Grishin, both of Belarus.

The women’s aerials title went to Australia’s Alisa Camplin. Her teammate Lydia Ierodiaconou was second and Evelyne Leu of Switzerland was third.

The next event for the Canadian athletes is the Canadian Freestyle Championships at Ski Mont-Gabriel, Quebec March 26-28.


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