Kerfoot back to form in freestyle nationals 

Whistler mogul skier nabs two bronze medals at Apex

The 2005-06 freestyle season officially wrapped up last weekend with the Canadian National Freestyle Ski Championships at Apex Mountain Resort, held one week after the FIS Freestyle World Cup finals.

Competitors included members of the national team, which just claimed the overall Nations Cup as the top World Cup team this past season, as well as the national development program, provincial teams, and freestyle clubs.

For Whistler mogul skier Sylvia Kerfoot, two podium results at the nationals helped to compensate for an otherwise tough season on the World Cup.

In October she hyper-extended a knee while practicing her front tuck, bruising her tibia bone. Doctors said it would take anywhere from three months to a year to heal, but Kerfoot elected to join the national team on the World Cup circuit in the hope of earning a berth in the Olympics. Even with a knee brace it proved more challenging than she expected.

"I thought there’d be some loss there, but I was at about 50 per cent physically," she said. "It did heal over the course of the season but March is a little late to come back, I was a little too sloppy. Even with a couple of good results, like a 10 th and 12 th on the World Cup – not my best but decent – with the strength of the national team it was not good enough for the Games.

"In another year I might have made it, but we have such a strong team."

Kerfoot earned a pair of bronze medals in single and dual moguls at Apex, edging out some of her teammates on the national team.

The first event on the weekend was the single moguls on Friday, where Olympic and World Cup champion Jennifer Heil edged past national team member Kristi Richards of Summerland by a score of 25.86 to 24.65. Kerfoot’s score was 22.77.

"It was not my best run, but it was decent," said Kerfoot. "My best run was in the semi-finals, but once the finals came around the weather just went crazy on us."

Fog delayed the first run in the morning, and cut the between run training session out of the program. By the time the finals took place the athletes saw snow, hail and dropping temperatures as the sun finally came out leaving the course icy and hard-packed.

"It was just a matter of staying focused," said Heil of the changing conditions.

For the men’s moguls, Marc-Andre Moreau of Chambly, Quebec (fourth in the Olympics) was the top male with a score of 26.85.


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