Austria, Italy top Super-G Podium at Sierra Wireless Air Canada Whistler Cup - BC Alpine Ski Association

Bernard Graff of Austria, Triple Gold Medalist at Sierra Wireless Air Canada Whistler Cup 2003
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One after the other, they punched through the finish with legs burning and faces flushed.

“I was pretty tired, it's very long,” said Anne Cecilie Brusletto of Norway. Despite starting 27th on a course where the men had already competed that morning, Brusletto was one of the three girls who, in her first international race of this magnitude, stopped the clock in less than one minute, 17 seconds. Brusletto finished second in 1:16.76 – six tenths behind Italy's Camilla Borsotti who took the gold.

The third-place finisher was Kaia Gulsvik, also of Norway.

“It was very fast in some parts,” said Brusletto, who admitted that other sections were beginning to get choppy, forcing the racers to take a slower line. However, course workers did an excellent job of keeping the course in good condition and fair for all racers, as shown by the top-10 result posted by American Katie Hartman from, Colorado, who finished eighth after starting 42nd.

The top Canadian girls' finisher was Caroline Brault, of Quebec and the Mont Olympia Ski Club. Brault took the number 14 spot and was one of six Canadians to finish in the top-20, along with Team BC's Wictoria Glowczynska, of the Sun Peaks Ski Club, who ended the day in a very respectable 19th place. Hot on Glowczynska heals, only 5 hundreths of a second behind and finishing 22nd, was Georgia Simmerling of Team BC and GrouseMountain/Tyee Ski Club.

Earlier Friday morning, the same Super-G course was the setting for the K2 Men's competition. The man everyone was chasing was Austrian Bernhard Graf, who started 5th and managed to hold onto his lead until the end, taking the gold medal in 1:12.84.

“The course was good – it was faster than yesterday in training,” said Graf, 14, who was second in the slalom and third in the giant slalom at this year's Trofeo Topolino – on which the Sierra Wireless Air Canada Whistler Cup is modeled. “It was a good run for me, I had good drive down the run. This is my first time in Whistler, and it's beautiful.”

Aside from Graf, the men's podium looked very similar to the women's, with Italy and Norway finishing second and third. Hagen Patscheider of Italy crossed the line in 1:13.27 to take silver, while Norway's Espen Theodorsen was third in 1:13.56.

Philippe Crete-Belzile of Quebec, skiing for CIBC Team Canada, was the top Canadian finisher. He recorded a time of 1:14.95 to finish seventh, while Whistler's own Matthew Holler, also on CIBC Team Canada, was 10th in 1:15.21.

Whistler Cup alumnus and current member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Michael Janyk (Whistler), was the on-hill announcer for the race. He and his sister Britt, also a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and a Whistler Cup medallist, have continued to give back to the event at every opportunity.

Canadian Alpine Ski Team alumni Steve Podborski, Ken Read, Dave Irwin, and Robin McLeish are also keeping a close eye on the Sierra Wireless Air Canada Whistler Cup this year, but for very personal reasons – their children, along with Dave Murray's daughter, are all competing at this weekend's K1 and K2 races. Due to their age differences, this will be the last event for at least four years when all of their children will be competing at the same event.

On Saturday, the K1 athletes (11-12 years old) are scheduled to compete in the giant slalom, while the K2 athletes (13-14 years old) are set to run the slalom. All Sierra Wireless Air Canada Whistler Cup action can be followed by live timing via the Alpine Canada Alpin and Whistler Cup Web sites at www.canski.org or www.whistlercup.com. More than 550 people from around the world logged on to catch Friday's races.

SIERRA WIRELESS AIR CANADA WHISTLER CUP
WHISTLER, B.C. – APRIL 4, 2003
MEN'S SUPER G

Top 10:
1. (5) Bernhard Graf, Austria, 1:12.84; 2. (9) Hagen Patscheider, Italy, 1:13.27; 3. (11) Espen Theodorsen, Norway, 1:13.56; 4. (23) Marco Fuchs, Austria, 1:14.26; 5. (29) Herman Lager, Norway, 1:14.54; 6. (18) Matthias Feichtner, Austria, 1:14.88; 7. (10) Philippe Crete-Belzile, Pont-Rouge, Que., 1:14.95; 8. (26) Giacomo Siega, Italy, 1;15.05; 9. (16) Ace Tarberry, USA, 1:15.20; 10. (17) Matthew Holler, Whistler, B.C., 1:15.21.

SIERRA WIRELESS AIR CANADA WHISTLER CUP
WHISTLER, B.C. – APRIL 4, 2003
WOMEN'S SUPER G

Top 10:
1. (3) Camilla Borsotti, Italy, 1:16.16; 2. (27) Anne Cecilie Brusletto, 1:16.76; 3. (12) Kaia Gulsvik, Norway, 1:16.96; 4. (13) Amy Harris, USA, 1:17.09; 5. (17) Nina Loeseth, Norway, 1;17.12; 6. (7) Anna Fenninger, Austria, 1;17.24; 7. (28) Kristina Liegl, Austria, 1:17.30; 8. (42) Katie Hartman, USA, 1:17.39; 9. (22) Michela Basso, Italy, 1:17.69; 10. (19) Corrine Rotter, USA, 1:17.76.