Men's J1 Podium, Apex Mars Downhill - Ben Podborski (WMSC) GOLD; Sasha Zaitsoff (Red Mountain) SILVER; Hamish Davidson (WMSC) BRONZE
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Mars Women's Overall Podium (and J1's) - Elli Terwiel (Sun Peaks) GOLD; Kelsey Serwa (Big White) SILVER; Toria Whitney (WMSC) BRONZE
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After weather dictated a day of rest on Monday, it was time for 62 men and 62 women to don the long skis and tackle the icy speed track at Apex Mountain Resort Tuesday for day one of Mars Downhill competition. To the delight of race organizers, athletes and spectators, the day was crisp, clear and ideal for racing. Elli Terwiel of Heffley Creek (Sun Peaks/OST) set the bar high, conquering the course in one minute, 24.92 seconds. Her team mate and friendly rival, Kelsey Serwa of Kelowna (Big White/OST) was a close second, stopping the clock in 1:25.31. Capturing the familiar third place position was none other than Whistler Mountain Ski Club speedster Victoria Whitney, completing her bronze medal run in 1:26.85.

In the men's event, the podium had a decidedly international flavour, with Canada, New Zealand and Australia sitting first, second and third. It was retired Canadian Alpine Ski Team racer Jeff Hume of Whistler who dominated the men's field, ripping up the course in just 1:21.65. New Zealand's Benjamin Griffin finished second in 1:22.28 and Edward Parry of Australia rounded out the podium in third with a time of 1:22.33.

Okanagan Ski Team Coach Andrew Lambert was asked to comment on two of his top athletes, Terwiel and Serwa, who seem to be battling it out for first place throughout the Mars Speed Races. “I think the girls are doing a great job. Conditions were excellent for the whole field so it was a very fair race for everyone.” noted Lambert. “Elli and Kelsey upped the intensity level today and skied as well as they could. The difference between first and second was a couple of mistakes so I think it will be a very interesting competition tomorrow.”

About her second place finish behind Terweil, a confident, smiling Serwa commented: “I think its great