Orr, Nicoll win medals at world juniors 

Whistler’s Tim Orr, 16, and Mercedes Nicoll, 17, came home from the International Snowboard Federation’s Junior World Championships in Sappada, Italy with more than passport stamps.

Orr won the gold medal in the youth class boardercross, beating out Tobias Fischer of Germany, Rick Baker of Australia, and Paul Henri Delerue of France.

"It was my first and last boardercross competition this year," said Orr of the from March 25-30 Junior Worlds. "In the finish I did a grab and fell on my back. The start was pretty much important for the end of the race. I like to be the first from the start because you don’t have to worry about if someone is in front of you, and the others can’t pass you."

Nicoll won a silver medal in the junior halfpipe, ahead of Yoshi Hatanaka of Japan and behind Kjersti Oestgaard Buass of Norway. "I didn’t have any idea that I was going that good, but it was fun," Nicoll told the ISF. "I’m very satisified. Sappada is very small, but I still like it here. The social scene is crazy."

All in all it was a successful week for the 31-member Canadian team, which finished third overall in the standings. France was first and Switzerland second. The U.S., which brought more athletes than any other nation, finished in seventh place overall.

In the youth parallel giant slalom, Tanja Uhlmann of Switzerland was the top female rider, followed by Mieke Verlinden of The Netherlands and Alice Allegrini of France. Jenny Harrop of Ontario finished fourth, Lillian Halme was eighth, Ekaterina Zavialov of Quebec was 15 th , Jeanne Hardy of Alberta was 16 th , and Beck Moore of Ontario was 23 rd .

The men’s youth competition went to Siba Masaki of Japan, followed by Jason Hale of the U.S. and Cyril Chabrand of France. The top Canadian was Colin Bell in fifth.

In the junior PGS, Florine Valdenaire of France won the day in the women’s competition, followed by Ilona Grossenbacher of Swizterland and Marieke Sauerbreij of The Netherlands. Constance Boisvert and Marie-Pier Genest were the top Canadians in 10th and 14 th .

Eighteen year old Francois Boivin of Jonquiere, Quebec, won the gold medal in the men’s junior competition after a strong rookie season on the World Cup circuit. Christoph Egger of Austria was second, and Alexander Deubl of Germany was third. Other top Canadian finishers were Philippe Berube in ninth, David Offierski in 14 th , Jordan Guthrie in 21st and Andrew Archer in 25 th .

In the youth halfpipe competition, Mero Narita of Japan was the top woman, followed by Kim Oelhafen of the U.S. and Australia’s Torah Bright. The top Canadians were Amy Vaillancourt in eighth and Emily Beach in ninth. In the men’s competition, Renaud Belisle of Quebec came away with a silver medal, edged out of first by Gary Zebrowski of France. Alvaro Vogel of Switzerland was third, Canada’s Parker Ferguson was fourth and Ryan Hall was 23 rd .

In the junior men’s halfpipe, the judges liked Marko Grilc of Slovenia the best. Heikki Sorsa of Finland and Sergio Berger of Switzlerland finished second and third. From Canada, T.J. McKay was fifth and Neil Connolly 19 th .

In the youth boardercorss, Lindsey Jacobellis of the U.S. took the checkered flag ahead of Thea Stenshagen of Norway and Swiss rider Tanja Uhlmann. Amy Vaillaincourt finished eighth for Canada.

The junior boardercross was hard on the Canadians, who failed to put an athlete in the top 16. Corinne Mottu, Helene Nadig and Olivia Nobs of Switzerland took the top three spots in the women’s bracket. David Mickael of France, Tommaso Tagliaferri of Italy, and Christian Mosiman of the U.S. were the top three men.

All Canadian riders have returned home to compete in the Canadian Championships at Big White resort this week.

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