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BANFF (Alberta) March 24, 2005 – Canada's top Juvenile racers competed in the 'fast and furious' super-G event as the Mars Canadian Juvenile Alpine Championships concluded in Lake Louise today. 18 of the best Juvenile racers from this week as well as 12 K1 racers from across the country, will be sent to the Team Canada Camp to be held March 27-29, 2005, prior to the Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup in April.
Quebec's Lindsay Blair had her first taste of victory as she led the pack of 76 female racers down the track to finish first in one minute, 11.22 seconds. Ontario's Daniela Gysler, who finished third in the giant slalom earlier this week, was the silver medalist finishing in 1:11.94.
“I really wanted this today,” told Gysler after her run. ” I didn't want it as bad yesterday and the results show that. My goal today was for the top-5 so I am really happy. I can't wait to go to the Whistler Cup and represent Canada.”
After finishing 2nd in yesterday's skills event, Erin Mielzynski from the Georgian Peaks Ski Club, completed the women's podium, joining her Ontario team mate.
Frederic Durand of Quebec clinched the top position for the men in 1:09.64. The excitement came when two Albertans stepped up to the podium silver and bronze. Sunshine's Andy Trow skied hard and fast to just miss the mark by .32 seconds.
“That was the best super-G I have ever skied,” exclaimed Trow. ” If felt so 'sweet'. It is important for me to not ski tentatively when I race. The Quebec team has done so well this week because they ski such a tight line and you can't be tentative if you want to win.”
Another local boy from the Banff Alpine Racers, Erik Read took today's bronze in 1:11.11.
” I wasn't expecting this it all,” shared an obviously excited Read. ” This was the first super-G I have been so 'stoked' for, and now I know why!” Read just missed the podium mark yesterday when he came in 4th in the skills event, behind three of Quebec's fastest racers.
Racers from all across the country participated in the events this week in Banff, including 12 athletes from New Brunswick. Allison Johnstone skis with the New Brunswick team and says coming out west has been an awesome experience and learning opportunity for her.
” I have seen so much skill and ability at these races, ” explained Johnstone. ” We are used to being the best at home and now we have had out butts kicked. It is okay though because we have had the experience skiing on much more technically challenging terrain as well as have seen just how competitive some of the provinces are. They really want to be the best and make it to the National team, where as we are not as used to this elevated level of competition.”
While some provinces didn't have the opportunity to felt the podium glory this week, athlete Nicole Poleschuk from the Kananaskis Ski Club explained how valuable the learning experience of the National Championships is for all athletes.
” I have learned how important it is to put your heart in soul into your race, ” said Poleschuk. ” If you don't give it your all, you will never have a chance to be the best. I have seen how fast we are in comparison with the other teams and then push myself to go above and beyond what I am comfortable with. I am really happy to see what can happen with my results when I challenge myself and put my mind behind my skiing.”
The 18 athletes that have been selected to represent Canada at the Whistler Cup will be announced this evening at the athlete banquet, to be held at Mt. Norquay's Cascade Lodge. They will be joined by 12 K1 athletes, that have been determined by their respective provinces and will be announced tomorrow. For the complete list of Team Canada athletes, please see the Alpine Canada Alpin website tomorrow @ www.canski.org.