Young skiers strong in Nor Am GS races 

Lustenberger leads way with third and fourth place finishes

Christina Lustenberger of Invermere led the way for the Canadian women in Nor Am competition last week, which came on the heels of the World Cup events at Park City, Utah.

Because the Nor Am giant slalom races took place in between North American World Cup events, they attracted a strong international field of racers as well as the top Canadian and American racers on their respective national development teams.

Lustenberger, 19, said she was inspired when she heard that her teammate Erik Guay had earned a silver medal in the World Cup downhill at Lake Louise the previous day (Saturday).

"We were so pumped about Erik," said Lustenberger. "It’s awesome. It really lifted all of us. Today we were really motivated."

She turned that motivation into a third place medal in the GS, behind Jessica Kelley and Kaylin Richardson of the U.S.

Lustenberger was joined in the top-10 by two other Canadians – Anna Prchal of Outremont, Quebec was sixth and Gillian McFetridge of Ottawa was 8 th . Brigitte Acton of Sault Ste.-Marie, Ontario was 14 th and Sophie Splawinnski of Montreal was 18 th .

"It was pretty tough with all the ruts and stuff," said Lustenberger, who moved up from 33 rd to 14 th place after her first run, and onto the podium with one of the fastest second runs of the day.

The women were back racing another GS on Monday, and although none of the Canadians managed to make the podium, Lustenberger came close with a fourth-place tie with Christine Sponring of Austria.

Teammate Gail Kelly of Ste-Anges de Beauce, Quebec finished fifth.

McFetridge was 17 th , Splawinski was 18 th , Jennah Durham of Timmins, Ontario was 25 th and Anna Good of Pointe-Claire, Quebec was 31 st .

The next round of Nor Am races take place at Lake Louise from Dec. 8 to 14, following the World Cup racing there this weekend.

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