WMSC alums post strong starts 

Alexander regularly hitting NorAm top 10

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MALCOLM CARMICHAEL/ALPINE CANADA - OUT OF THE GATES Cameron Alexander has hit the NorAm Cup top 10 in all but one race he's completed so far this season.
  • Photo by Malcolm Carmichael/Alpine Canada
  • OUT OF THE GATES Cameron Alexander has hit the NorAm Cup top 10 in all but one race he's completed so far this season.

Contrary to what he's used to, Cameron Alexander is off to a blazing start in the 2018-19 NorAm Cup alpine season.

Admittedly a little sluggish out of the gates, the 21-year-old Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus has surged at Lake Louise and Panorama, hitting the top 10 in all but one of the seven races he's completed thus far. That includes a second place in the downhill in Alberta on Dec. 6.

"I've had a great start to the season, especially for me. At this time of year, I've been prone to having rougher starts, so it's nice to be able to get things going pretty well in this part of the season," he said.

Alexander explained he started out with productive training camps that spilled over into the racing season.

"I've just taken confidence from that and I've been trusting myself more on race day and it's been working out well," he said, adding his main focus has been moving with his skis rather than remaining static. "There were a few things I was trying to focus on technically in my skiing. There's been a progression from where I was last year, moving well in the right direction and that gave me confidence coming into racing."

Asher Jordan, meanwhile, has a 15th-place finish at Panorama in Alpine combined on Dec. 10 to hold up as his top result of the young season.

The 19-year-old is mostly bullish on his first few events.

"There's always room for improvement but it's definitely a solid start to the season. I'm happy with where I ended up in the slalom. The GS was a little more challenging with the snow conditions and we were running pretty late in the day," he said.

Jordan started his season early with camp and competition in New Zealand in late August before moving on to Austria and then Canadian slopes. The diverse tracks, he explained, have gotten him ready for just about anything.

"New Zealand was unreal snow, perfect, grippy, real snow," he said. "Hintertux (Austria) was sheer ice, real aggressive and hard. It was like glacier ice so it was definitely a challenge, but it definitely prepared us well."

Riley Seger, meanwhile, has posted a trio of 12th-place results that have set the standard for him to this point in the season. However, between disqualifications and DNFs, there have been four races of the 10 he's started where he hasn't posted a result, something he'll look to improve going forward.

"The skiing has been really good, but there's just a little bit of bad luck in places where I'm having really good runs and then I'm losing a ski and just going a little too straight in sections and making mistakes," the 21-year-old said. "Overall, the team is skiing really well. It's just coming down to people limiting their mistakes.

"When you look back, if you did limit those mistakes or one small part went a little better, then you would have had a way better day. It's a little bittersweet."

Seger repeated the same mantra as his teammates in that they seek to make a practice run look exactly like how they hope to execute on race day, with his primary focus being bringing additional energy into each turn.

"As a team, we always like to talk about how we have to be skiing with intensity, to train like you race. When you don't have to do anything different, you just get used to pushing that pace and pushing that intensity all the time," he said. "It becomes your normal.

"You're always in race mode and you're always good to go."

Other notable NorAm results include Riley's older brother Brodie earning a third-place super-G finish on Dec. 10, while Alexander's younger brother Kyle took 10th the same day. On the women's side, Ella Renzoni earned an eighth-place finish in the Alpine combined on Dec. 11.

Off the slopes, coming up on Dec. 27 at Buffalo Bills, Canada's Europa Cup team including the Segers, the elder Alexander, Jordan, Jack Crawford, as well as Alberta's Jeff Read and Lower Mainlander Sam Mulligan, will hold the Aiming for the Podium fundraiser. The event starts at 8 p.m. with individual tickets running at $40. Full event details are on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/300012517515356.

Facing a shortfall, the squad is looking to raise enough money to cover its races in Europe until the end of March as well as a spring training camp.

"This season, following a post-Olympic year, Canada as a country has allocated more of its money towards summer sports as we're going into a Summer Olympic cycle. Our team is a little short funding this year," Riley Seger said. "It's really important for us to raise the money so we can keep our program going until the end of the season."

Jordan added that a strong show of support would help provide a boost to the team members, who fly overseas less than a week later.

"If we can do well there, then we'll have a great rest of the season," Jordan said.

Those who are unable to attend can still give by visiting alpinecanada.org/donate/make-a-donation and directing a donation to Johnny Kucera's group.

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