First Janyk Cup a success 

Sports briefs: Kripps, Humphries win in Germany

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - RECOGNIZING A GIANT Thomas Legg and Carys Griffin were the first winners of the Janyk Cup.
  • Photo submitted
  • RECOGNIZING A GIANT Thomas Legg and Carys Griffin were the first winners of the Janyk Cup.

The inaugural Janyk Cup is being hailed as a success by race chair Jeff Parkhill.

Parkhill noted nearly 140 U12 racers from the host Whistler Mountain Ski Club, Cypress Ski Club, Grouse Mountain Ski Club, Mount Seymour Ski Club and the Whistler Blackcomb race development program took part.

Thomas Legg and Carys Griffin took home the overall title when the two-day festival wrapped up on Jan. 7. The weekend also included the Nancy Greene Ski League skills event with athletes racing a dual slalom and giant slalom.

The Janyk Cup helped celebrate influential skier, sport advocate and town councillor Andrée Janyk, who passed away in 2017. Her children, Olympic and World Cup skiers Mike and Britt, came to forerun and hand out the awards, with Britt donating a FIS trophy to the event.

"It seemed appropriate to celebrate our Olympians and the fact that Andrée was such a giant in our community, as well, the Janyk Cup seemed like a good idea," Parkhill said.

Parkhill also praised the volunteer effort needed to make the race run smoothly.

Kripps, Humphries win in Germany

Canadian athletes came away with a pair of gold medals in BMW IBSF World Cup action in Altenberg, Germany on the weekend.

Both triumphs came in two-person disciplines as Justin Kripps and Alex Kopacz blasted to victory on the men's side while Kaillie Humphries and Phylicia George scored the win on the women's side.

Kripps, scoring the second two-man win of his career and first in four years, set a new track start record with Kopacz pushing him. They also posted the fastest time in both heats to best Germans Francesco Friedrich and Martin Grothkopp by 0.09 seconds and Latvians Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis by 0.51 seconds.

"Things are definitely rolling. To win here in Altenberg on such tough track is just awesome," Kripps said in a release after securing his seventh World Cup podium finish. "Everything is coming together. I have more experience driving now. I went out and got the exact equipment, and runners, that I wanted, which is making a big difference."

Fellow Canadians Nick Poloniato and Neville Wright were just off the podium in fourth while Chris Spring and Jesse Lumsden placed 12th.

Kripps and Kopacz nearly took home a second medal in the four-man, with Lumsden and Oluseyi Smith, but took fourth, 0.35 seconds back of the first-place sled helmed by Germany's Nico Walther. Fellow German Francesco Friedrich guided his sled to second and Kibermanis took another third-place showing. Spring's sled took 13th and Poloniato's was 20th.

As for Humphries, she and George clicked in just their second race together, earning top spot by setting the track record in their first run while also topping the second heat to leave no doubt as to their dominance.

Americans Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans were second, 0.69 seconds back, while Germans Anna Koehler and Annika Drazek took third, 0.90 seconds off the pace.

"It feels really good and we are happy with the performance. Phylicia and I worked really hard during the Christmas break. To be able to come out and perform, in only Phylicia's second race, is great," Humphries said in a release. "We made big gains today with good pushes and I'm happy with how I drove. We are happy to walk away with the track record and we know there is lots of room to grow."

Fellow Canucks Alyssia Rissling and Heather Moyse took 10th and Christine de Bruin and Cynthia Appiah took 13th.

While there were no medals on the skeleton side, there were still some strong Canadian results. North Vancouver's Jane Channell, a regular at the Whistler Sliding Centre, led all Canucks by taking sixth, 1.33 seconds back of winner Jacqueline Loelling. In a sweep by the hosts, Tina Hermann and Anna Fernstaedt rounded out the podium. Elisabeth Vathje was ninth while Mirela Rahneva was 22nd.

On the men's side, Dave Greszczyszyn was 10th, 1.98 seconds behind winner Sungbin Yun of South Korea. Russia's Alexander Tretiakov placed second and Germany's Christopher Grotheer was third. Barrett Martineau was just a slot back of Greszczyszyn in 11th while Kevin Boyer was 15th.

Luge athletes hit top 10

Tristan Walker and Justin Snith continued their midseason charge in the FIL Viessmann World Cup stop in Konigssee, Germany on the weekend.

The duo took a second-consecutive top-five finish after earning a bronze medal before the Christmas break, placing fifth.

The pair ended up 1.16 seconds back of winners Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arit as part of a German sweep. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were second and Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm were third.

"We are really happy with this result because we had two solid runs and we are continuing with the positive consistency trend that we have built over the last couple of races," Walker said in a release.

On the women's side, Alex Gough took sixth to lead the Canadian individual sliders while Germans swept the medals again. Gough was 0.83 seconds back of winner Natalie Geisenberger while Dajana Eitberger and Jessica Tiebel were second and third, respectively.

Canadian men struggled, however, with Mitchel Malyk leading the team in 21st. Sam Edney was 23rd and Whistler's Reid Watts did not finish his second run after sitting in 26th after his first attempt.

Freeskiers strong at local event

Whistler Freeride Club members took home plenty of hardware from the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association Junior Regional Freeski Challenge on Jan. 6 and 7.

In the first event of the year, WFC took home 17 of 18 available medals.

In the male 15 to 18 event, Noah Rother, Cameron Duguid and Benjie McMaster hit the podium while the women's side was represented by Olivia McNeill, Aoife Gannon and Amanda Constantini. In the 12 to 14 division, Wei Tien Ho, Jacob Jewett and Marcus Goguen comprised the men's top three while Sofia Guy, Kayley Sherlock and Drea Dimma did so on the women's side. Lastly, in the nine to 11 age group, Floyd Guy, Dane Jewett and Charlie Turner topped the men's event while Kayla Constantini, Annabel Taubenschlag and Crystal Mountain's Lucy Kettrick were the top women.

Celebration Fridays on at WOP

Whistler Olympic Park has been around for a decade and they're holding some parties for the next four weeks.

As it hits double digits, the WOP is holding Celebration Fridays starting this week, Jan. 12, from 3 to 9 p.m.

During these hours, trail tickets and rentals will both be $10 per person while clinics will be $20 a person. The festive nights will wrap up on Feb. 2 with an orienteering challenge, with entry costing $20 per team.

To register, call the park at 604-964-0060 ext. 2460 or visit the Guest Services booth.

For more information, visit www.whistlerolympicpark.com.

Mielzynski seventh in Zagreb

Erin Mielzynski got a strong start in the post-holiday portion of the FIS World Cup schedule.

The Ontario skier scored a seventh place in the women's slalom on Jan. 3 in Zagreb, Croatia, finishing 2.56 seconds back of American Mikaela Shiffrin, who dominated the proceedings. Shiffrin was 1.59 seconds up on runner-up Wendy Holdener of Switzerland and 2.11 seconds ahead of Sweden's Frida Hansdotter.

Fellow Canuck Roni Remme also had a strong day in 11th.

As the scene shifted to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Mielzynski continued her run with a 15th-place showing in the slalom there. Shiffrin once again lapped the field, besting second-place Hansdotter by 1.64 seconds and Holdeneer by 1.87 seconds.

On the men's side in Croatia, Erik Read placed 25th as the lone Canadian to complete two runs. Austria's Marcel Hirscher edged countryman Michael Matt and Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen for the win.

Action continued in Adelboden, Switzerland on Jan. 6, with Trevor Philp being the lone Canadian to place in the giant slalom in 23rd, with Hirscher again winning over Kristoffersen and France's Alexis Pinturault.

Canadians failed to make the finals in the weekend's other events.

Harvey medals at Tour de Ski

Canadian Alex Harvey made history at the Tour de Ski on Jan. 7, becoming the first non-European to grasp a medal at the prestigious event in Val di Flemme, Italy.

Over the course of six races in nine days in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, Harvey challenged himself and finished roughly 90 seconds behind winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland. Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby was second.

"I think on paper this may not be as big as winning World Championships, but for me in terms of satisfaction, this is the number one achievement in my career," Harvey said in a release. "To be steady throughout 10 days of skiing, and never really have a bad day, that gives me huge satisfaction."

Locals compete at moguls World Cup

The FIS World Cup came through Calgary this weekend and local moguls athletes got the chance to compete on a massive stage.

Pemberton's Brenden Kelly made some noise on the men's side, taking 11th with a score of 76.66. Canadian Mikael Kingsbury ran his winning streak to 11 in a row after tallying a convincing 89.55, besting Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Reikherd (86.43) and Australia's Matt Graham (83.23). Marc-Antoine Gagnon and Philippe Marquis hit the top 10 in eighth and ninth, respectively.

On the women's side, Whistler's Sofiane Gagnon took 28th overall. Australia's Brittney Cox took the win, edging out France's Perrine Laffont and Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe. Penticton's Andi Naude placed fourth.

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