Sports Briefs 

Two golds, one silver at Pan Am

Mountain bikers in medals at Pan Am championships

Canadian mountain bikers earned two gold medals and one silver at the Pan American mountain bike championships in Argentina last weekend.

In the Under 23 category, Cheakamus Challenge champion Max Plaxton finished first, while Geoff Kabush and Seamus McGrath were first and second in the pro-elite category. All three riders are based in Victoria.

No Canadian women competed, with all three medals going to American riders. Willow Koerber, who lives in Whistler, was third.


Whistler skiers make top tier of U.S. Freeski championships

Three Whistler skiers were among the top 34 men to qualify for the U.S. Freeskiing Nationals at Snowbird, Utah this past weekend, out of a field of 150 qualifiers and 50 invited athletes.

Matty Richard, a prequalified athlete, finished on top of that group, placing seventh overall with a score of 110.2. Brett Crabtree, who had to fight for his spot in the qualifier, placed 12 th overall in 106.8, while Joel Jacques — who qualified for the finals in ninth spot — had a fall in his first run that bumped him back to 21 st .

It was Jacques’s first world tour event, and he was impressed by the level of skiing. “It was a great experience,” he said. “Being my first world tour competition, it was good to make the superfinals and in the top-10. It was too bad I crashed, but I still learned a lot so it was good.

“The organizers said it was some of the best skiing they had ever seen, with one of the deepest fields.”

The base at Snowbird was low compared to other years, but there was fresh snow on the course. The upside was that the cliffs were a little bigger, said Jacques.

All three Whistler athletes are planning to go to the North American finals in Kirkwood, California at the end of March, as well as the world tour finals at Tignes, France in mid-April.

Jacques and Richard are both on the Rossignol team, while Jacques is also sponsored by Orage and Peter Kiewit Sons Construction — his employer in the summer months.

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