Thompson wins in Blue Mountain return 

Sports briefs: Sharpe wins at Tignes; Local boarders star at provincials

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GEPA COURTESY OF ALPINE CANADA - GLOBE TROTTER Marielle Thompson was awarded her third FIS Crystal Globe at Blue Mountain, Ont. on the weekend.
  • Photo by GEPA courtesy of Alpine Canada
  • GLOBE TROTTER Marielle Thompson was awarded her third FIS Crystal Globe at Blue Mountain, Ont. on the weekend.

Marielle Thompson had the FIS Crystal Globe all wrapped up by the time she returned to Canada.

But she added another jewel to her overall crown with a sensational performance at Ontario's Blue Mountain on March 5, helping Canada to secure the overall ski-cross Nations Cup for a second consecutive year.

Thompson won each and every heat she ran en route to her seventh win of the season, after which she was officially handed the Crystal Globe, her third overall.

"To win the Crystal Globe here on home soil in Canada is amazing," Thompson told the Alpine Canada website. "It's just a great finish to the World Cup season. I couldn't have asked for a better race. And to have Canada on top for the second year in a row and win the Nations Cup is just awesome. It's great for our team and it's great for our program."

Canadian Brittany Phelan also made the big final, taking fourth, while Georgia Simmerling placed 11th.

The Canucks also emerged victorious on the men's side, with Brady Leman snagging his second win of the season, edging teammate Chris Del Bosco.

"It was an awesome atmosphere here with a great crowd and great to race in front of friends and family. It's been a really great season and I'm really proud of it. Winning the Nations Cup really motivates us as a group and it's great bonus to win it again this year," he told the website.

Whistler's Dave Duncan wrapped the year with an eighth-place showing, while teammates Kevin Drury (13th), Zach Belczyk (16th), Ian Deans (21st), Ned Ireland (30th) and Mathieu Leduc (32nd) also competed.

Sharpe tops at Tignes

Local skier Cassie Sharpe returned to Tignes with victory on her mind.

On March 7, the 24-year-old halfpipe competitor won at the venue for the second time in three years to wrap the FIS World Cup slate with her first victory on the tour this season. She was also the first woman to land a switch cork 720 in a contest run en route to a final score of 90.80.

"I was feeling good from training in Korea and managed to qualify first. We weren't sure the finals were going to happen, as it snowed over two feet. The crew did a great job of maintaining the pipe and around 4 p.m. the clouds parted and it was blue skies... I landed the switch cork 720 in Korea, and kept it a secret... When I saw that I was in the lead dropping into my third run, I decided to put it all on the line and landed the first ever switch cork 720 by a woman in a contest run," Sharpe said in a release.

Squamish's Roz Groenewoud placed eighth while on the men's side, Brendan Mackay, Noah Bowman and Whistler's Simon d'Artois all made the finals, taking fifth, sixth and 10th, respectively.

The Tignes event was the skiers' last warmup before the FIS World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Canadian snowboarders hit Vail podium

A trio of Canadian slopestyle snowboarders medalled at the Burton U.S. Open in Vail, Colo., on March 3.

On the men's side, Mark McMorris edged fellow Canadian Mikey Ciccarelli for gold while Spencer O'Brien snagged third in the women's event. Sebastian Toutant, meanwhile, was eighth among the men.

It was McMorris' first time at the event since breaking his femur last season.

"The feeling's indescribable. A year ago today I was lying on the couch with a fresh titanium rod put in my femur." McMorris said in a release. "To come back, and land a run I've never done and also take the win for my third time in Vail is the best feeling in the world. Maybe the most emotional win yet."

Meanwhile, at the Air Nation Nationals at Mount St. Louis Moonstone and Horseshoe Resort in Ontario, Whistler's Mercedes Nicoll placed second in the women's halfpipe, taking an 83.4 to winner Katie Tsuyuki's 86.8. Calynn Irwin, meanwhile, took third. On the men's side, Derek Livingston took the victory, edging out Braeden Adams and Shawn Fair.

The slopestyle contest will take place March 9 and big air is set for March 11.

Local boarders star at provincials

Whistler Valley Snowboard Club members impressed at the final of the Ride On Provincial Snowboard Series at Big White on March 4 and 5.

Finn Finestone posted a top score of 84.75 to surge past Winsport Academy's Lucas Comeau in the men's U15 division. That score also landed Finestone the second-best score over all age categories.

Truth Smith, meanwhile, dominated the U13 men's division with a 73.25 and placed fourth overall.

In snowboard-cross, the Shelly siblings finished just off the podium, with Anthony taking fourth in U13 men's and Samantha earning fifth in U13 women's.

Full results are available at

Kelly among 11 to receive grant

Pemberton's Brenden Kelly was one of 11 athletes to receive an inaugural Wekerle Futures Fund grant through Freestyle Canada.

The moguls skier, an unfunded athlete, received $3,000 to help offset the roughly $25,000 cost of training, travelling and competing. The grant stems from the organization's connection with Michael Wekerle of CBC's Dragons' Den. Wekerle is Freestyle Canada's premier partner and donor.

"The athletes on Freestyle Canada's National Team are some of the best and most dedicated athletes in the world," Wekerle said in a March 7 release. "I am pleased to be able to provide needed financial support to these young athletes so they may continue pursuing their dreams of representing Canada on the world stage."

The athletes will travel to Toronto later this spring to meet with Wekerle.

Storm hoopsters 11th at provincials

The Whistler Secondary School (WSS) Storm junior girls' basketball team finished in the top half of the draw at provincials last weekend.

The Storm compiled a 2-2 record en route to an 11th-place finish, starting with a 49-40 loss to the eventual bronze medallists from Lord Tweedsmuir before knocking off fifth-ranked Penticton 39-26. In Game 3, the Storm couldn't quite hold on to a late lead against Langley's Heritage Woods, falling 44-43, but bounced back to wrap the tournament with a 49-37 triumph over White Rock's Earl Marriott.

All told, WSS wrapped the year with a 25-6 record.



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