It was the men who set the first tracks on Nakiska's sunny Lower Maverick slalom course Saturday at the Pontiac GMC Cup, a developmental series for Canada's top alpine skiers. After the first run, eight men finished within one second of each other making the 2nd run of day highly competitive and very exciting for the many fans, athletes, coaches and parents cheering in the finish.

In the end, Alberta Ski Team athlete Travis Dawson took the win, but just barely, as BC Ski Team's Ben Chaddock (Richmond/WMSC) finished just one hundredth of a second behind. “What an awesome race that was, “exclaimed Dawson after his victorious race which he finished in one minute, 54.49 seconds. ” I was up against a lot of competition in this race today so it feels especially great to take the win, “added Dawson who was one of eight athletes in the first run to fall within one second of each other. Dawson was 6th after the first run.

Ben Chaddock, who was only one hundredth of a second off the pace in 1:54.50 said he really wanted the win in the event but knows he is up against very tough competitors. “The course was great and held up really well and I will be looking for the win tomorrow,” said Chaddock, who praised the great work done by the course workers. Also from the Alberta Ski Team, Jeff Crompton finished third, 1:54.74. BC Team's Dustin Fraser had the lead after the first run, but finished just off the podium in 4th with a two-run time of 1:54.86.

On the women's side, Fernie's Danielle Poelschuk won her second straight gold medal beating out the competition in a time of 2:00.81. Tied with silver medalist Kayla Bridgenau after the first run in 1:00.36, Danielle kept her race approach and mental game consistent to eventually pull through and take the lead.

“I just kept sticking with my plan, “Poleschuk reported with confidence. ” Second run, I skied smart, focused on the simple tactics of the race and I tried not to focus on anyone else.”

Calgary's Kayla Bridgeneau, who lost her first place footing, came 2nd with a time of 2: 01.97.

“I am really happy with this result, “told Bridgeneau who admits she is coming out of a bit of slump with her skiing. ” I tried to keep my mind clear, go hard and ski smart.”

Andrea Bliss from Edmonton, AB came third, 2:02.39, an amazing result after she crashed out of the GS course yesterday and had to fight off some bumps and bruises to keep her skiing strong today.

“I lost a bit of footing from first run but am still happy to be on the podium, ” said Bliss who was originally in 2nd place after the first run. ” It was a tough, turny course but I am just really happy to have finished it, “she added referring to her DNF (did not finish) result yesterday after the crash.

The second generation of Crazy Canucks was out in full force and Alpine Canada Alpin President and former Canuck Ken Read says this is just the first of many times the young racers and children of the former Crazy Canucks will be racing together. Ken Read's son Erik Read was a forerunner while Ben Podborski, son of Steve Podborski and Julia Murray daughter of Dave Murray both raced.

The Coupe Pontiac GMC Cup at Nakiska wraps up tomorrow with men's and women's slalom.

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.

Men's Top-10 Results:
1 (14) DAWSON Travis [CAN] 0:53.54 1:00.95 1:54.49
2 (4) CHADDOCK Benjamin [CAN] 0:53.31 1:01.19 1:54.50
3 (15) CROMPTON Jeff [CAN] 0:53.91 1:00.83 1:54.74
4 (10) FRASER Dustin [CAN] 0:53.01 1:01.85 1:54.86
5 (6) SCHEELE Chris [CAN] 0:53.16 1:01.93 1:55.09
6 (13) STUART Cameron [CAN] 0:54.02 1:01.28 1:55.30
7 (3) WRONKO Taylor [CAN] 0:53.77 1:01.63 1:55.40
8 (12) HADLEY Jonathan [CAN] 0:54.30 1:01.69 1:55.99
9 (24) HOWDEN Angus [NZE] 0:55.55 1:01.41 1:56.96
10 (21) TONKINSON Spencer [CAN] 0:55.69 1:01.34 1:57.03

Men's J1 Top-10: