WSSF announces 2020 dates 

Sports briefs: Whistler Freeride Club alums shine; Three Whistlerites hit ski-cross podium

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MITCH WINTON COURTESY OF THE WORLD SKI AND SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL - The World Ski and Snowboard Festival will run for 11 days this April.
  • Photo by Mitch Winton courtesy of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival
  • The World Ski and Snowboard Festival will run for 11 days this April.

The World Ski and Snowboard Festival is back to covering two weekends in 2020.

The long-running event, recently purchased from Whistler Blackcomb by Gibbons Whistler, will run from April 16 to 26 this year.

A release said more details would be announced in the coming weeks.

The festival, which brings together snow sports, music and arts, ran for just five days in 2019.

Whistler Freeride Club alums shine at Revelstoke

Two Whistler Freeride Club graduates excelled in the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) four-star stop at Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Jan. 9.

In the ski men's event, Cooper Bathgate earned the victory over fellow Canadian Seth Amundsen and American Colton Shaff.

In the ski women's event, Olivia McNeill took second in an all-Canadian sweep as Chandrima Lavoie earned the win and Carlene Loughlin was third.

McNeill was coming off of a win in the two-star Revelstoke FWQ event on Jan. 6. In the same event, teammate Aoife Gannon took third.

Thompson, Bennett, Morrow hit podium at nationals

Whistler ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson froze out the competition to hit lucky seven at the Canadian National Championships at Canyon Ski Resort near Red Deer, Alta. on Jan. 11.

Racing in frigid temperatures, Thompson won her seventh national crown, topping Britt Phelan and Courtney Hoffos for the triumph.

"Today was good, I felt like I skied well in every heat. The course was fun, and I managed to keep my energy up despite the cold. I am excited to be National Champ again," Thompson said in a release.

On the men's side, Reece Howden earned the national title over Brady Leman and Kevin Drury.

In the U19 division, Whistler's Emeline Bennett won the women's race while Jack Morrow placed second in the men's contest.

de Bruin silver at La Plagne

Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski teamed up for Canada's lone medal in the BMW IBSF World Cup stop at La Plagne, France on Jan. 11.

In a rare visit to the French track, the bobsleigh duo took silver behind champions Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi of Germany, who were 0.21 seconds ahead, while Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig, also of Germany, were just 0.01 seconds behind the Canadians.

In the men's four-man race on Jan. 12, Justin Kripps' Canadian sled posted a fifth-place finish, 0.74 seconds back of the champions driven by Francesco Friedrich of Germany. Johannes Lochner, also of Germany, was second while Latvia's Oskars Kiebermanis placed third.

It was a rebound from Kripps' two-man performance on Jan. 11 in which he and Cameron Stones tied for 10th. Friedrich and Alexander Schuller earned the win ahead of Kiebermanis and Matiss Miknis and Swiss competitors Michael Vogt and Sandro Michel.

In skeleton action, Mirela Rahneva was the top Canadian, finishing seventh in the women's race, 1.82 seconds back of winner Elena Nikitina of Russia. Austria's Janine Flock and Germany's Jacqueline Loelling rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively. North Vancouver's Jane Channell and Madison Charney took 20th and 21st in order.

On the men's side, Kevin Boyle was 16th and Kyle Murray took 25th. Russia's Alexander Tretiakov took the win ahead of Latvia's Martins Dukurs and South Korea's Sungbin Yun.

Canadians slide to seventh in Altenberg

Whistler's Reid Watts helped Canada claim a seventh-place finish in the FIL World Cup relay at Altenberg, Germany on Jan. 12.

Watts, along with Carolyn Maxwell and the doubles sled of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, were 0.852 seconds off the pace set by the winning Russian sleds. The Germans were second and the Italians took third.

In singles action, Watts slid to an 18th-place finish as the lone Canadian in the race, finishing 1.249 seconds off the pace of winner David Gleirscher of Austria. Italy's Dominik Fischnaller took second while Germany's Felix Loch was third.

In the women's race, Carolyn Maxwell was the top Canadian, also placing 18th, 1.053 seconds behind champion Julia Taubitz of Germany. Russia's Tatyana Ivanova finished second while Italy's Andrea Voetter took third. Pemberton's Trinity Ellis, meanwhile, was 21st and Whistler's Veronica Ravenna, representing Argentina, finished 24th.

Lastly, Walker and Snith slid to a 10th-place finish in doubles action, 0.8 seconds shy of Austria's Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller, who topped Germany's Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, and Russia's Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov, for gold.

St-Germain 10th at Flachau

Canada's Laurence St-Germain slid into the top 10 during a night slalom event at Flachau, Austria on Jan. 14.

St-Germain finished 2.82 seconds back of winner Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, while Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson took second and American Mikaela Shiffrin was third. Erin Mielzynski and Ali Nullmeyer, meanwhile, were back to back in 15th and 16th, respectively.

The women's speed team, meanwhile, was in action at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria on the weekend. On Jan. 12, Roni Remme posted the top Canadian result, earning a 12th in the Alpine combined, 3.87 seconds back of champion Federica Brignone of Italy. Switzerland's Wendy Holdener, meanwhile, was second and Italian Marta Bassino was third.

Remme was also the top Canadian in the previous day's downhill, though she was only 42nd and teammate Marie-Michele Gagnon was 47th. Switzerland's Corinne Suter came away with the victory over Italy's Nicol Delago and fellow Swiss racer Michelle Gisin.

The men, meanwhile, saw some strong skiing from Erik Read at events in Italy and Switzerland.

Read took an 11th-place finish at the Adelboden slalom on Jan. 12, finishing 0.66 seconds back of winner Daniel Yule of host Switzerland. Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen and Austria's Marco Schwartz rounded out the podium.

Read was also the lone Canadian finisher in the Jan. 11 giant slalom, taking a 24th-place showing. Slovenia's Zan Kranjec scored the win over Croatia's Filip Zubcic and a two-way tie between Kristoffersen and France's Victor Muffat-Jeandet.

Earlier in the week, Read was 11th in the slalom at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy on Jan. 8. Yule earned the win over Kristoffersen and France's Clement Noel.

Hendrickson golden at Font Romeu

Canada's Mark Hendrickson topped the FIL World Cup slopestyle field at Font Romeu, France, on Jan. 11.

Hendrickson (86.30) eked out the win over Sweden's Jesper Tjader (85.70) and American Cody Laplante (83.45). Other Canadians included Noah Porter MacLennan in 18th, Etienne Geoffroy Gagnon in 24th and Edouard Therriault in 37th.

On the women's side, Elena Gaskell and Olivia Asselin placed eighth and ninth, respectively. France's Tess Ledeux came away with the victory over Switzerland's Giulia Tanno and Sarah Hoefflin.

Whistler snowboarders shine on home snow

Local snowboarders shone as the BC Snowboard Series came to Whistler Blackcomb on Jan. 10 and 11.

In slopestyle action, Juliette Pelchat warmed up for the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland with a win. Teammate Maggie Crompton placed second. In the men's event, Finn Finestone also topped the podium while Jadyn Chomlack placed third.

In the big air contest, Crompton came away with the win on the women's side, while for the men, Truth Smith took the win while Keenan Demchuk placed second.

Full results are online at www.fis-ski.com.

U14 skiers sharp at Ptarmigan

Whistler Mountain Ski Club's (WMSC) U14 skiers excelled in U14 Teck Coast Zone action at Whistler Blackcomb on Jan. 11 and 12.

WMSC skiers took home 13 medals from four events over the two days.

In the first ladies' slalom, Stella Buchheister earned the win while Vanessa Young was third, while in the second, Young took the win while Olivia Imregi was third.

As for the men, Thomas Legg placed third in the first slalom.

On the second day, Buchheister topped the first ladies' panelled slalom while Carys Griffin placed second. Buchheister also won the second while Lola Gilbert was the runner-up.

Legg and Braden Aitken, meanwhile, were second and third in both men's contests.

Overall, Buchheister was crowned the top ladies' skier, followed by Grouse's Brooke Irish and Young. On the men's side, Grouse's Thomas Hung was first after completing the four-race sweep, edging out Legg and Seymour's Nick Kokot.

Western Canada Cup coming to town

The Western Canada Cup is on its way to Whistler Olympic Park this weekend.

More than 500 athletes will head to the Callaghan Valley to race in free technique sprints on Jan. 17, classic interval starts on Jan. 18 and relays on Jan. 19.

Volunteers are still required. To sign up, visit zone4.ca/register.asp?id=22093.

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