Whistler's Thompson wins at Megève 

Sports briefs: Kingsbury crowned in Calgary; Kripps claims win at St. Moritz

click to enlarge FACEBOOK PHOTO - PUPPY POSE Whistler ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson posed with a puppy after finishing second in qualifying at the World Cup at Megeve, France. She came away with the win in the final.
  • PUPPY POSE Whistler ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson posed with a puppy after finishing second in qualifying at the World Cup at Megeve, France. She came away with the win in the final.

Whistler ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson claimed her third FIS World Cup win and fifth podium of the season at Megève, France on Feb. 1.

Thompson came in ahead of two Swedish racers, Crystal Globe leader Sandra Naeslund and Alexandra Edebo, for the victory.

"I'm super stoked on the win today. I feel like I skied as well as I could and really brought out my best skiing in the final. To be on top of the podium in front of my friends is really exciting," Thompson, who sits third in the overall standings, said in a release.

The other Canadian women were knocked out of contention early, with Abby McEwen taking 12th and Brittany Phelan earning 13th.

In the men's race, Canadian Kevin Drury also topped the podium, besting France's Bastien Midol and Germany's Tim Hronek. Drury leads the Crystal Globe chase.

Other Canadian finishers included: Brady Leman in 10th, Chris Del Bosco in 12th, Kristofor Mahler in 36th, Zach Belczyk in 39th and Ned Ireland in 48th.

Kingsbury crowned in Calgary

Mikael Kingsbury completed a Canadian sweep in Calgary on the weekend.

A week after scoring the FIS World Cup moguls win at Mont-Tremblant, the Canadian legend repeated the feat out west, scoring an 89.09 for the win ahead of Sweden's Walter Wallberg (85.10) and Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Reikherd (84.19).

Competing in soft snow in the Feb. 1 event didn't prevent Kingsbury from extending his all-time wins lead or claiming his ninth win of the season.

"It was just so much fun skiing today, even though we got a little weather hold, it was so much fun," Kingsbury said in a release.

Other Canadian men included Laurent Dumais in 10th, Brayden Kuroda in 25th, Pemberton's Brenden Kelly in 28th, Kerrian Chunlaud in 29th, Elliot Vaillancourt in 37th, Gabriel Dufresne in 38th, Ryan Portello in 42nd and Jordan Kober in 45th.

Canada also claimed a podium appearance on the women's side as Justine Dufour-Lapointe's 79.94 staked her the third-place position behind champion Perrine Laffont of France (81.22) and Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan (80.69).

Freestyle Whistler grad Maia Schwinghammer was the next best Canadian, taking 13th, while Chloe Dufour-Lapointe took 16th, Berkley Brown nabbed 19th, Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert finished 23rd and Valerie Gilbert was 27th.

Kripps claims four-man win at St. Moritz

Canadian Justin Kripps piloted his sled to his third four-man BMW IBSF World Cup victory of the season on Feb. 2.

Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cameron Stones and Ben Coakwell came in 0.13 seconds ahead of the Latvian sled driven by Oskars Kiebermanis and 0.34 seconds ahead of German Johannes Lochner's crew.

Competing with a pulled groin, Kripps pushed from second place after the first run into the top spot at the race's end.

"This is awesome. I have been trying to win in St. Moritz since the first time I came here in 2007. That was a big day for us," Kripps said in a release. "We had two good runs, good pushes and the boys really stepped up in that second run to drop the start time. That was big time, and I really believe allowed us to get the victory."

The win means that Kripps and his team finished the four-man season in third-place overall in the World Cup standings.

In the two-man race on Feb. 1, Kripps and Stones slid to a fifth-place finish, 0.62 seconds back of champions Lochner and Christopher Weber of Germany. Francesco Friedrich and Alexander Schueller, also of Germany, took second, while Latvians Kiebermanis and Matiss Miknis placed third.

In the women's race, Canadians also placed fifth as Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski were 0.54 seconds back of winners Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs of the United States. Germany rounded out the podium with Mariama Jamanka and Kira Lipperheide in second and Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig in third.

In skeleton action, Canadian Mirela Rahneva was just 0.01 seconds off the women's podium as she took her fourth fourth-place finish of the season.

Overall, Rahneva was 0.74 seconds back of winner Tina Hermann of Germany, while fellow German Jacqueline Loelling was second and Austrian Janine Flock took third.

North Vancouver's Jane Channell took 10th while Madison Charney ended up 20th.

As for the men, Kevin Boyer finished tied for 17th, 1.95 seconds back of winner Martins Dukurs of Latvia. Germans Felix Keisinger and Axel Jungk rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively. The only other Canadian was Kyle Murray in 24th.

Alexander cracks top 30 at Garmisch

Cameron Alexander of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club claimed his third top-30 result of the season in FIL World Cup racing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on Feb. 1.

Competing in the downhill, Alexander was the top Canadian, posting a 27th-place finish, 1.43 seconds behind winner Thomas Dressen of Germany. Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde edged past France's Johan Clarey for second. Meanwhile, Ben Thomsen placed 32nd, Jeffrey Read took 36th, and a pair of Alexander's WMSC teammates, James Crawford and Brodie Seger, ended up 37th and 43rd, respectively.

There were two Canadians in the top 20, meanwhile, in giant slalom action on Feb. 2 as Erik Read and Trevor Philp took 17th and 20th, respectively. France's Alexis Pinturault came away with the triumph over Switzerland's Loic Meillard and Norway's Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen.

Canadians failed to finish both runs in the week's other event, the slalom at Schladming, Austria on Jan. 28, which saw Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen top Pinturault and Switzerland's Daniel Yule for the win.

It was a similar story in the week's lone race for the women, who got in the super-G at Rosa Khutor, Russia on Feb. 2 after the downhill was cancelled. Italy's Federica Brignone topped countrywoman Sofia Goggia and Switzerland's Joana Haehlen for first.

Local lugers 23rd at Oberhof

Two Sea to Sky lugers competing on the FIL World Cup tour found themselves in the exact same position in weekend action at Oberhof, Germany.

On the men's side, Whistler's Reid Watts, the lone Canadian, finished in 23rd position, 0.746 seconds behind winner Johannes Ludwig of Germany. Russia's Semen Pavlichenko took second and Latvia's Inars Kivlenieks was third.

Meanwhile, in women's racing, Carolyn Maxwell was 22nd and Pemberton's Trinity Ellis placed 23rd, while Whistler's Veronica Ravenna, representing Argentina, was 27th. Germany's Anna Berreiter came away with the win ahead of Russia's Tatyana Ivanova and Summer Britcher of the United States.

In the doubles race, Canada's Tristan Walker and Justin Snith claimed a seventh-place finish, 0.388 seconds back of winners Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany. Latvians Andris Sics and Juris Sics placed second and Germans Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm wound up third.

Lastly, in the event-closing relay, the Canadian squad of Maxwell, Watts, Walker and Snith slid into eighth, 1.501 seconds back of the winning group from Germany. The Americans placed second while the Latvians were third.

Morrow takes top-20 finishes at NorAm Cup

Whistler's Jack Morrow hit the top 20 twice during NorAm Cup ski-cross action at Calabogie Peaks, Ont. on Feb. 1 and 2, falling in the eighth-finals on both days.

The first day, the 17-year-old claimed a 19th-place finish, as Japan's Tetsuya Furuno topped Canadians Gavin Rowell and Carson Cook for first.

The next time out, Morrow climbed to 18th, while Furuno took a second consecutive win over Canada's Callum McEwen and Japan's Ryuto Kobayashi.

WNDC athletes compete at Youth/Junior World Championships

The Whistler Nordic Development Centre, based out of Whistler Olympic Park, sent five athletes to the International Biathlon Union Youth/Junior World Championships at Lenzerheide, Switzerland from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2.

Of the athletes representing the centre, Zachary Connelly had the best results, taking two top-50 finishes in the youth men's category. Connelly was 49th in the 12.5-km individual event, 54th in the 7.5-km sprint competition and 42nd in the 10-km pursuit event while helping Canada to an 11th-place showing in the 3x7.5-km relay with Cole Bender and Zachary Demers.

Meanwhile, Squamish's Larissa Black, competing in the junior women's event, placed 71st in the 12.5-km individual race, and 57th in both the 7.5-km sprint and 10-km pursuit. Teammate Gillian Gowling, competing in the same category, took 61st in the individual race and 78th in the sprint. Both Black and Gowling completed their legs in the 4x6-km relay for Canada, though the team did not finish.

Meanwhile, in junior men, Lucas Smith earned a 62nd-place finish in the 15-km individual competition and a 90th-place finish in the 10-km sprint while Ryan Elden was 86th in the individual and 82nd in the sprint. The duo teamed up with Adam Runnalls and Reid Lovstrom to help Canada to a 17th-place showing in the 4x7.5-km relay race.


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