Calgary, Alta. (April 17, 2017) – The 25th Mackenzie Investments Whistler Cup was hosted this weekend in Whistler, B.C. with over 400 athletes, 150 coaches and 20 countries participating. Canadians had some standout performances landing on the podium five times. Canada closed out the competition ranked third overall in the U16 points competition.
The U16 super-G race opened the competition weekend and Canada came away with two podium finishes on the men’s side.
Bromont, Que.’s, Raphael Lessard and Nathan Romanin of Squamish, B.C., took silver and bronze in the men’s super-G race with Norway’s Fredrik Willumsen Haug taking the top spot in a time of 1:04.24.
Lessard was competing for the first time at the Mackenzie Investments Whistler Cup.
‘’It feels good to get a strong result,’’ said 15-year-old Lessard. ‘’It was a good run considering it was hard to see. The conditions were challenging but I pulled it through. It was particularly foggy on the last pitch and could not see the ground.’’
Romanin made waves with an attack from the back starting with bib number 44 and finishing in third-place.
In the women’s competition, Panorama Ski Club’s Cassidy Gray, missed the podium by a mere 0.01, finishing in fourth-place.
‘’I was a little late going into the last pitch,’’ said 16-year-old Gray. ‘’The last ten gates I was just trying to make it up, going as straight as I could and in as much of a tuck as I could. The bottom was problematic for many skiers but I was able to hold on.’’
Selina Egloff of Switzerland won the gold medal in a time of 1:06.33 seconds. Ine Haugland of Norway took silver and Sofie Sund Malin of Norway finished third.
Canada hit the podium again in the giant slalom with Edmonton’s Tora Hoshizaki putting up a third-place result in the women’s race.
‘’After a while I got more comfortable and my racing followed through throughout the day,’’ said Hoshizaki, who skis for Nakiska Alpine Ski Association. ‘’This is a great event to introduce athletes from all over the world and find out where you stand internationally.’’
Selina Egloff of Switzerland notched her second straight victory in a time of 2:19.35 over two runs. Her compatriot Aline Hoepli took silver and Hoshizaki followed for the bronze.
National U16 champion, Alyssa Hill of Calgary, was fourth and Cassidy Gray finished in tenth-place.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Raphael Lessard from Bromont, Que, posted the fastest U16 Canadian time of the day finishing on the podium in third-place, making it Lessard’s second podium of the Mackenzie Investments Whistler Cup competition.
Callum Cant made it a golden sweep for the Swiss stopping the clock at 2:16.63. Diego Holscher of Chile was second and Lessard tied Andreas Amdahl of Norway in third-place. Lessard won silver in the super-G on Thursday, making it his second podium of the weekend. Caeden Carruthers of Fredericton, N.B. finished in tenth-place.
On Saturday, the U16 athletes raced a slalom race where Panorama, B.C.’s Cassidy Gray found redemption and captured silver.
‘’Getting on the podium was my objective this week,’’ she Cassidy. ‘’I’m so excited I made it especially with the depth of field here and some of the top international skiers in my age group.’’
Selina Egloff of Switzerland remained unbeaten in U16 women’s competition finishing the slalom in first-place.
The Canadian girls finished with four more athletes in the top-ten including Sarah Bennett, Stoneham Ski Club, Que., in fourth-place, Tara Hoshizaki from Nakiska Alpine, AB, in fifth-place, Alice Marchessault from Ste-Anne-des-Lacs, Que., in ninth-place, and Maja Woolley of Squamish, B.C. in tenth-place.
In the men’s U16 slalom, Nathan Romanin of Squamish had the best Canadian finish with a fifth-place result. Thomas Bilodeau of Coreau-du-Lac, Que., finished in sixth-place, Kieran Harley of Whistler seventh-place, James Small of Alberta ninth-place and Logan Dunn of Alberta in tenth-place.
Switzerland’s Patrick von Siebenthal had the fastest time of the day stopping the clock at 1:30.47. Andreas Amdahl of Norway finished in second-place and Henry Heaydon of Australia rounded out the podium in third.
In the final day of racing at the Mackenzie Investments Whistler Cup competition, the U16 Team Canada squad dominated in the Team Event capturing gold in the inaugural dual slalom race. Canada beat out Norway in the final, finishing in second-place. Switzerland and Austria tied for third-place.
Whistler Cup U16 Points overall winners:
1st place – Switzerland
2nd place – Norway
3rd place – Canada
The U14 Whistler Cup Festival was held alongside the U16 races. Below are the top-three nations overall ranking for that competition.
Whistler Cup U14 Festival Points overall winners:
1st place – Ontario
2nd place – BC
3rd place – Australia
Nancy Greene Award (top performance by a Canadian female):
U14: Tessa Foote – Ontario 1 (2nd place in GS)
U16: Cassidy Gray – Canada 1 (2nd place in SL)
Dave Murray Award (top performance by a Canadian male):
U14: Heming Sola – BC1 (1st place in SL)
U16: Raphael Lessard – Canada 1 (2nd place in SG)
Full results from the weekend’s races can be found here: http://whistlercup-timing.azurewebsites.net/timing/
Thank you to Coast Mountain Photography who covered all four days of action. Photos are available for purchase here: http://www.coastphotostore.com/Events/Whistler-Cup-2017