WMSC racers reflect on Junior Worlds 

Alexander posted fifth-place super-G finish to lead locals

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY ROGER WITNEY - TOP 20 Stef Fleckenstein hit the top 20 three times at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Switzerland.
  • File photo by Roger Witney
  • TOP 20 Stef Fleckenstein hit the top 20 three times at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Switzerland.

Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) saw three of its alums taking on the world's top up-and-comers in Switzerland earlier this month.

Competing at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships, Cameron Alexander posted the top result of the three, posting a fifth-place finish in the super-G on Feb. 2. He also followed it up with a 13th-place showing in the Alpine combined to go with a 17th in the downhill earlier in the competition.

"I had a couple races I was pretty happy about out there," Alexander said. "In the super-G, I just had a game plan and executed it well.

"(I had to) nail a couple important sections so I could carry speed the rest of the run."

The 20-year-old praised the conditions in Davos, noting they were favourable to how he liked to ski.

"It was good, aggressive snow and it held up pretty well," Alexander said.

Riley Seger said the snow was surprising to the Canadians as its appearance was deceiving.

"It looked and felt like it was going to be super icy but it was actually very, very grippy and aggressive snow," he said. "That kind of caught us by surprise off the bat. Our skis were hooking up in the snow way more than we were expecting."

Seger had a bit of a tougher time at the event after being beset with bad luck. After taking a 20th in the downhill, Seger was unable to complete any of his next four races.

The 20-year-old lost a ski in the giant slalom race and in the super-G, straddled a gate as part of a "little series of unfortunate events." However, the opportunity to measure himself against stiff competition and then to rebound after such a week will hopefully be a building block as he progresses with his career.

"It really helped us push ourselves. Obviously, it wasn't my week, not being able to make it across the finish line, but it's a great learning experience, having to push your own limits in order to be the best," he said.

On the women's side, Stefanie Fleckenstein was measured with her assessment, as she posted three top-20 finishes but couldn't crack the top 10, taking 13th in the downhill, 16th in the Alpine combined and 18th in the super-G.

"I wasn't necessarily going as fast as I wanted to or getting the results (I wanted), but it was a fun event and it was really cool to see some of my teammates and fellow North Americans doing really well," she said.

Fleckenstein had some trouble getting to the finish in the first two races, which put an early damper on her optimism.

"I had a little less confidence heading into the speed events. It's a pretty easy hill, so you had to really be going for it and running straight lines, but I just wasn't comfortable doing it at the time," she said. "But then I got more comfortable with the hill and more willing to push my line."

Grouse Mountain alum Sam Mulligan snagged Canada's lone hardware at the event when he placed second in the men's downhill.

All three local racers are back on this side of the ocean looking to make their mark on the NorAm Cup tour.

Fleckenstein is at Whiteface Mountain while Seger and Alexander are at Stowe Mountain Resort. The schedule is a gauntlet on both sides and all will have to stick to a plan to perform well.

"It's a lot of races all in a row, so it's all about managing my energy and trying to push through to the end of the year," Fleckenstein said.

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