Simmerling, Whitney, Pridy on Downhill Podium at Apex Mars BC Cup - BC Alpine Ski Association

On a picture perfect morning at Apex Mountain Resort, 74 men and 69 women felt a buzz in the air as they prepared to hit the icy hard downhill track to kick off day one of the 2007 Mars BC Cup speed event. The women were first out of the start gate and would battle strong winds as they made their way down the course.

Danielle Poleschuk (Calgary/Fernie Alpine Ski Team), who has recently been named to the Canadian women’s development team, clocked the fastest time to win the race in one minute, 21.62 seconds.

Georgia Simmerling (North Vancouver/Grouse Tyee Ski Club) led the BC Ski Team girls with a second place finish in 1:22.01. “I thought my run was pretty sketchy,” Simmerling said at the finish. “I broke out of my tuck so many times because of the wind. I was hoping for a cleaner and faster run, but I guess everyone had to deal with gusts of wind out there.”

Whistler’s Victoria Whitney (Whistler Mountain Ski Club/BC Team Training Group) ripped down the course in 1:22.35 to finish third overall and take the top spot for J1’s (15 & 16 year olds). “I had a good head wind out of the start and then about half way down I caught a big tail wind;” explained Whitney. “It was interesting – all things considered, I feel pretty good about how I did.”

Joining Whitney on the J1 podium were Stephanie Irwin (Banff Alpine Racers) in second and Calindy Ramsden (West Vancouver/Whistler Mountain Ski Club) in third.

The winds diminished in the afternoon making things a little less blustery for the men’s race. Erik Read (Calgary/Banff Alpine Racers), son of Crazy Canuck Ken Read, was the 50th racer to start, so it was a long wait in the finish area for the other top guys in the field to find out what kind of result Read would produce. He came out strong and aggressive, delivering the winning run in 1:18.49. “I was hoping for at least top-10 today, so I’m surprised and excited to win;” admitted Read. “I had the opportunity to forerun at Lake Louise earlier this year and found out that I absolutely love downhill – I couldn’t wait to get here to Apex and race on this track!”

Read’s win bumped Cory Canart (Windermere Valley Ski Club) into second place with a time of 1:18.66. “This course is fun and ‘turney’ compared to some downhills;” reported Canart. “I usually do best in slalom and super G – this one felt a bit like a super G, which is probably why I liked it.”

Men's Downhill Podium 2007 - Erik Read (Banff) on top; Cory Canart (WVSC) second; Conrad Pridy (WMSC/BCST) third.Rounding out the overall men’s podium was BC Ski Team athlete Conrad Pridy (Whistler/Whistler Mountain Ski Club) who hung on for third in 1:19.22. “I’m relieved to be on the podium today because I’ve been slow in training this week for some reason,” expressed Pridy. “I decided to get down low in my tuck and just focus on that because it was the one thing I could control. I didn’t want to think about my skis – just let the wax do its job – but I’ll admit I was a bit worried yesterday.”

Top J1 for the day was race winner, Erik Read in his first season as a FIS athlete. Second on the men’s J1 podium was Morgan Pridy (Whistler/ Whistler Mountain Ski Club) whose 4th place finish left him just off the overall podium. Morgan is the younger brother of bronze medalist Conrad Pridy. It pays to have a brother to chase, and not that anyone’s counting, but Morgan came in only .26 of a second off Conrad’s time. Third fastest J1 honours went to Curtis Timmons of the Banff Alpine Racers, who finished 6th overall in 1:19.72.

To quote one beaming, young racer at the end of a thrilling ride down the polished track; “It’s so much more fun on race day! After all the training and analyzing, you don’t think about anything, you just let it all go and race to the bottom.”

Another athlete worth mentioning – Morgan Waldo from Regina, Saskatchewan circled around after finishing her race, carrying as many cups of hot chocolate as she could manage and delivered them to volunteers at the top and bottom of the course.  No one asked her to do it, she just thought it would be a nice way to say ‘thanks’. Morgan, thank you for this thoughtful gesture!  It was much appreciated.

Lastly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Rich MacDonald, our "stuck in the race office all day", hard-working Race Secretary!

Downhill action continues Wednesday, with super G to follow on Thursday and Friday. Enjoy the This is a link to a web page. LIVE TIMING!

Top-15 Women’s Downhill
1 (15) POLESCHUK Danielle [FERNI] [CAN] – SR 1:21.62
2 (6) SIMMERLING Georgia [GROUS] [CAN] – J2 1:22.01
3 (8) WHITNEY Victoria [WHIST] [CAN] – J1 1:22.35
4 (11) IRWIN Stephanie [BANFF] [CAN] – J1 1:22.54
5 (1) PARKER Alexandra [SUNSH] [CAN] – J2 1:22.71
6 (56) RAMSDEN Calindy [WHIST] [CAN] – J1 1:23.00
7 (10) BIRDGENEAU Alexa [NATC] [CAN] – J1 1:23.17
8 (13) SERWA Kelsey [BIGWH] [CAN] – J2 1:23.56
9 (51) MONOD Tatum [BANFF] [CAN] – J1 1:23.60
10 (2) TERWIEL Elli [SPAC] [CAN] – J2 1:23.80
11 (37) CARROLL Emma [EASA] [CAN] – J1 1:24.50
12 (63) CREMA Katya [AUS] – J2 1:24.53
13 (18) BAYLISS Deborah [WHIST] [CAN] – J2 1:24.82
14 (9) EVES Nicola [NZE] – J2 1:24.96
15 (3) MURRAY Julia [WHIST] [CAN] – J2 1:25.14

Top-15 Men’s Downhill
1 (50) READ Erik [BANFF] [CAN] – J1 1:18.49
2 (7) CANART Cory [LKLSE] [CAN] – J2 1:18.66
3 (8) PRIDY Conrad [WHIST] [CAN] – J2 1:19.22
4 (1) PRIDY Morgan [WHIST] [CAN] – J1 1:19.48
5 (6) THOMSEN Benjamin [WINDR] [CAN] – J2 1:19.68
6 (9) TIMMONS Curtis [BANFF] [CAN] – J1 1:19.72
7 (24) LEDUC Mathieu [MTWAS] [CAN] – J1 1:19.92
8 (12) WINTER Sven [WHIST] [CAN] – J2 1:20.10
9 (2) MCLEAN James [WHIST] [CAN] – J2 1:20.38
10 (67) TROW Andy [SUNSH] [CAN] – J1 1:20.41
11 (15) CUMMING Ian [APEX] [CAN] – J2 1:20.49
12 (14) COOPER Nicholas [WHIST] [CAN] – J2 1:20.65
13 (5) MOORE Evan [BIGWH] [CAN] – J2 1:20.66
14 (13) ROSE Trevor [WINDR] [CAN] – J2 1:20.70
15 (45) MORRISON Ian [WHIST] [CAN] – J1 1:21.47 

This is a link to a web page. COMPLETE OFFICIAL FIS RESULTS