BC's Serwa and Chaddock take their places on Pontiac Cup Podium! - BC Alpine Ski Association

Ben Chaddock, BCST 05/06
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Kelsey Serwa, Big White Racers 05/06
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Brett Haney of Calgary was determined to not make the same mistake twice and it earned him the gold medal and a $600 cash prize on Thursday as the Pontiac GMC Cup, a developmental series for Canada's top alpine skiers, got underway.

In the men's giant slalom, Haney clocked a two-run time of two minutes and 05.01 seconds to edge BC Ski Team's Ben Chaddock of Richmond, B.C., in second at 2:05.19. Jeff Crompton was third at 2:05.41 and Jeff Hume of Whistler, B.C., finished fourth in 2:05.50.

Haney, 18, was third after the first run. ''I was really happy with my first run until I made a big mistake and lost some time,'' said Haney. ''But that run actually gave me confidence because I knew I was capable of skiing cleanly. Skiing is a lot about confidence and I had a great second run with no mistakes.''

Chaddock took the lead after the first run. ''I tried to do the same thing in the second run, but made a bad turn in one part,'' said Chaddock, who earned the $400 runner-up prize. ''I thought I had it on my approach.''

Hume officially retired after nine seasons on the national team last month, but raced again to inspire the many youngsters competing at the event. Hume is part of Whistler Mountain Ski Club coaching staff which has a 35-member team at this event. ''Racing today did not give me the urge at all to make a competitive comeback,'' said Hume, 26, sixth in a World Cup downhill race last season.” I had a tough time on the hill considering it's only been three weeks since I said I was done. It was a lot of fun and I was happy to race.''

Also in the top 10 from BC and the Windermere Valley Ski Club was Ben Thomsen with an excellent 8th place result!

In the women's GS, Kelsey Serwa of the Big White Racers (Kelowna), took the gold clocking 2:11.38 over two runs. Carmel McElroy of Calgary was second in 2:11.66 and Andrea Bliss of Edmonton finished third in 2:11.69. Serwa and Bliss are both 16. ''It was pretty good, I feel confident on this hill because we did a lot of early season training here,'' said Serwa, second after the first run. ''I tried to follow the same plan for both runs so that strategy worked really well.''

McElroy couldn't duplicate a strong first run in which she posted the fastest time. ''I think the nerves got the best of me,'' said the 18-year-old. ''I was too conservative on the second run.''

Bliss made an incredible comeback to capture the bronze. She was 10th after the first run but posted the fastest time on the second. ''I was really upset after the first run,'' said Bliss. ''But the second run I was determined to lay the hammer down. With me it's bit of a head game. I kept calm for the second run and kept my focus. I just let my skis go down the hill instead of across.''

Rounding out the top 10 on the women's side were BC Team's Lindsay Kraft (Vernon Ski Club) in 5th, Alison Leighton (WMSC) in 7th spot and Danielle Robson (WMSC) finishing 8th.

Now in its eighth season, the Pontiac GMC Cup series features 32 races in four provinces before the Canadian Championships in March at Whistler Mountain.

GM of Canada is the official sponsor and exclusive vehicle provider for Alpine Canada Alpin and the nation's premier developmental race series. For almost two decades, GM of Canada has supported the development of elite amateur ski racers in Canada. The Pontiac GMC Cup series from 1969 to 1981 produced Canadian international skiing greats, such as Ken Read, Laurie
Graham, Steve Podborski, Todd Brooker, and Kathy and Laurie Kreiner.

Competition continues through to Sunday.