XC skiers converge on Whistler Olympic Park 

Sports briefs: Thomsen 12th at Bormio; Grondin sixth at Cervinia

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Racers cross the finish line at the Teck Coast Cup #2 at Whistler Olympic Park on Dec. 21.
  • Photo submitted
  • Racers cross the finish line at the Teck Coast Cup #2 at Whistler Olympic Park on Dec. 21.

Three local cross-country ski clubs sent athletes to the Teck Coast Cup #2 at Whistler Olympic Park on Dec. 21.

Representing Whistler Nordics, Kate Lowe placed second in the U10 girls' 1.5-km classic event. Spud Valley's Veya Stevens and Namumiskoo Lammens took fourth and fifth, respectively, while Whistler's Sophia Clifford was sixth.

Benita Peiffer, also of Whistler, was the lone competitor in the U20 women's 10-km classic contest, earning gold. As for the U20 men, Pemberton's Joe Davies, now of Canmore, edged out Whistler's Michael Murdoch, representing UBC Nordics, for first.

In the open/masters women's 10-km classic, Whistler's Nicole Murdoch placed second, while Sea to Sky's Sarah Bowers placed fourth.

In the U8 boys' 750-metre race, Spud Valley's Teja Stevens hit the podium in third while teammate Sahnqa Lammens was fourth.

Meanwhile, in the U14 girls' three-km classic, Sea to Sky Nordics' Mia Rodger placed second while teammates Josie Clifford and Anaik Ferradini were fourth and eighth, respectively.

As for the U16 boys' five-km classic, Jasper Fleming of Sea to Sky earned a second-place showing while Spud Valley's Talon Pascal took sixth and Sea to Sky's Nick Ayers was seventh. In the same event for women, Sea to Sky's Marin Lowe took second while teammates Sierra Pochay-McBain and Sofie Hill were fourth and sixth, respectively.

In the U18 boys' five-km classic, Trevor Schick of Sea to Sky took gold while teammate Sean Benson was third.

Other competitors were: Whistler's Jesse Thuma and Sea to Sky's Guy Ayers (ninth and 12th, respectively, in U12 boys' 2.5-km classic); Whistler's Tyler Thuma and Sea to Sky's Ryan Clark, Gustave Deseau and Lucas Clements (fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in U14 boys' three-km classic); and Whistler's Eric Goodwin, Spud Valley's Paul Lammens, Whistler's Brent Murdoch and Sea to Sky's Benoit Ferradini (fourth, fifth, ninth and 11th, respectively, in open/masters men's 10-km classic).

Full results are online at www.zone4.ca.

St-Germain ninth at Lienz

Canadian Laurence St-Germain cracked the top 10 in Audi FIS World Cup action at Lienz, Austria on Dec. 29.

St-Germain posted a ninth-place finish, 2.63 seconds back of winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States. Slovakia's Petra Vlhova placed second while Switzerland's Michelle Gisin was third. The lone other Canadian to finish, Erin Mielzynski, took 12th.

The day prior, no Canadians qualified for a second run in giant slalom action. Shiffrin ran away with the win over Italy's Martina Bassino and Austria's Katharina Liensberger.

As for the men, Canada's Ben Thomsen was the top Canadian on back-to-back days of the Audi FIS World Cup at Bormio, Italy on Dec. 27 and 28.

Thomsen's better day came on the latter, as he took a 12th-place finish, 1.72 seconds back of winner Dominik Paris of Italy, for his best result of the season so far. Swiss racers Urs Kryenbuehl and Beat Feuz rounded out the podium, respectively. Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus Brodie Seger was the only other Canadian, placing 41st.

In the Dec. 27 race, which replaced the cancelled Val Gardena-Groeden contest from earlier in the week, Thomsen took 28th, 2.92 seconds back of Paris. Feuz placed second and Austria's Matthias Mayer was third. Seger, meanwhile, was just outside of the top 30 in 31st.

In the Alpine combined on Dec. 29, Seger was the sole Canadian to compete, taking 29th. France's Alexis Pinturault topped Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Switzerland's Loic Meillard for the victory.

Grondin sixth at Cervinia

Just a week after setting a new career high on the FIS World Cup snowboard-cross tour, Canada's Eliot Grondin nearly matched it at Cervinia, Italy on Dec. 22.

Grondin kicked off the season placing fifth at Montafon, Austria, and continued his strong start with a sixth-place showing at Cervinia.

Italy took the top two spots as Lorenzo Sommariva bested Emanuel Perathoner and France's Merlin Surget. Other Canadians included Kevin Hill in 33rd, Liam Moffatt in 38th and Evan Bichon in 47th.

The Canadian women also posted a top-10 placement as Meryeta Odine took ninth. Italy's Michela Moioli topped the podium ahead of France's Chloe Trespeuch and fellow Italian Sofia Belingheri. Meanwhile, Audrey McManiman placed 20th and Carle Brenneman took 22nd.

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