Gaskell takes Crystal Globe in big air 

Sports briefs: Brownlie, Shorter top U14 provincials; Mah posts pair of wins ski jumping; Thompson finishes season in third

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY MATEUSZ KIELPINSKI/FIS - 1>GLOBETOPPER Canadian Elena Gaskell (centre) celebrates her FIS Crystal Globe win for big air after the World Cup final in Quebec City on March 16.
  • Photo by Mateusz Kielpinski/FIS
  • 1>GLOBETOPPER Canadian Elena Gaskell (centre) celebrates her FIS Crystal Globe win for big air after the World Cup final in Quebec City on March 16.
 
Canadian Elena Gaskell claimed the FIS Crystal Globe for big air in friendly territory on March 16.

The 17-year-old skier scored a 158.00 to secure a third-place finish at the Jamboree in Quebec City, sitting her exactly 20 points back of winner Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland. Germany's Kea Kuehnel was second, 17.50 points back.

Gaskell, who hails from Vernon, was thrilled to lock down her first-ever overall title.

"I'm speechless! I'm so happy," Gaskell said in a release. "I had a good season, even if there were little injuries along the way that meant I couldn't train as hard as I would have wanted, but in the end I was able to ski well at the right time."

Whistler's Yuki Tsubota was just behind Gaskell in the event, ending up two points back in fourth place, while fellow Canadian Megan Oldham took fifth.

There were no Canadian celebrations to be had on the men's side as contender Alex Beaulieu-Marchand failed to advance to the finals, ultimately ending up 14th, while Philippe Langevin and Max Moffatt advanced to place fifth and sixth, respectively. Austria's Lukas Muellauer bested a pair of Swiss competitors, Fabian Boesch and Andri Ragettli, for the win.

Whistler resident Teal Harle missed the finals by just half a point and ended up in 11th.

In the snowboard event, Laurie Blouin captured a silver medal, placing 4.75 points back of champion Julia Marino of the United States. Slovakia's Klaudia Medlova, meanwhile, placed third. As for the men, William Buffey was the top Canadian in sixth, 24.00 points back of winner Seppe Smits of Belgium. Finland's Kalle Jarvilehto placed second while Switzerland's Jonas Boesiger was third. Carter Jarvis was the lone other Canadian to make finals, placing 10th.

Brownlie, Shorter tops at U14 provincials

Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) member Felix Shorter won a pair of races at the BC Alpine U14 Provincial Championships at Prince George on the weekend.

Shorter started out by topping the slalom race on March 15 by 4.51 seconds while teammate Milan Novak placed third. The next day, Shorter's margin of victory in the giant slalom was less, though still impressive, as he topped the field by 2.80 seconds. Novak was just off the podium in fourth, while teammates Alec Waldrum (fifth) and J.J. Gibbons (ninth) also made the top 10.

On the women's side, Alexa Brownlie won the March 15 slalom by 2.41 seconds over teammate Erin Husken, who took second, while Sarah-Elizabeth Whelan snuck into the top 10 in 10th place.

The next day, Brownlie tied for silver, 0.93 seconds back of champion Samantha Lawlor. Ella Kaufmann (seventh) and Husken (ninth) also hit the top 10.

The weekend wrapped with the dual slalom, in which WMSC skiers had great success. Waldrum, Brownlie, Heidi Shenck, Forrest Savoy, Jackie Smith and Marlow Parkhill all made it to the final rounds.

Full results are available online at www.alpinecanadalive.org.

Mah posts pair of wins at Whistler Olympic Park

Canadian Nathaniel Mah won both the normal hill and large hill NorAm ski jumping competitions at Whistler Olympic Park on March 16 and 17.

The Calgary jumper opened by winning the normal hill competition over a five-jumper field on March 16, besting fellow Canuck Nigel Lauchlan and Great Britain's Sam Bolton. In a significantly larger challenge the next day, Mah was the best of 15 competitors, topping Bolton and American Beckett Ledger.

As for the women, Anna Hoffman led an American podium sweep of the normal hill event, sharing the podium with Annika Belshaw and Paige Jones while Nicole Maurer was last in the five-jumper event.

However, Maurer rebounded in the large-hill event, hitting the podium in third behind winner Hoffman and runner-up Belshaw in the nine-competitor contest.

Full results are available online at www.fis-ski.com.

Thompson wins, finishes season in third

In her first season after returning from a serious knee injury, Whistler's Marielle Thompson enjoyed a fairly solid campaign.

Thompson medalled in nearly half the races, including winning the March 17 World Cup season finale in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, while Sweden's Sandra Naeslund took second and France's Alizee Baron ended up in third.

"I'm really happy with how today went. I feel like I skied really well—I was behind in the final, and I knew I had lots of speed in the bottom of the course, so I tried to pump the rollers as best I could and managed to make a pass and come away with the win. I'm really happy to cap off the season that way," Thompson said in a release. "Third place in ski cross is really awesome for me. I wanted more, but I feel like I had some really solid results. Coming back from injury, I didn't really know what to expect, so to be third in the world is pretty amazing."

Canada took four of the top six spots in the race, as Brittany Phelan was fourth, India Sherret fifth and Kelsey Serwa sixth. Abby McEwen rounded out the Canadian contingent in 12th.

In a mark of consistency, Thompson made the big final in nine of 11 races she started.

On the men's side, Brady Leman took home a runner-up finish behind France's Jean-Frederic Chapuis while fellow Frenchman Bastien Midol rounded out the podium in third. Chris Del Bosco also hit the top 10, taking ninth, while Kevin Drury placed 18th.

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