Konantz takes Super Combined Silver at PGMC J1 National Championships - BC Alpine Ski Association

Ontario ski racers from Georgian Peaks Club opened the Pontiac GMC Canadian J1 Championships by winning both the men’s and ladies super combined today in Whistler, BC.

Mike Turnbull (Oakville, ON), a 16-year-old second year J1 ski racer from Georgian Peaks, absolutely dominated a challenging slalom run to win the super combined by almost three seconds. Turnbull’s win in a two-run combined time of one minute 50.95 seconds came despite being over a second behind the leader after the opening super G run.

“I’m more of a slalom skier, so I figured when I was fourth in the super-G I had a pretty good chance of a podium in the super combined. When we were warming up for the slalom, I felt pretty good just free skiing, but I did a couple of training runs in the gates and wasn’t finishing. I really had to re-group at the bottom and tell myself I knew I could do it. Obviously it worked out, so I’m happy,” said Turnbull.

“I was skiing well at the beginning of the season, but I went into a bit of a valley for a while. This result tells me I’m back to where I should be now. I’m really looking forward to the slalom race,” said Turnbull, adding that Whistler is among his favourite mountains to race on.

“I don’t get out here more than about once a year. If feels pretty cool to ski on the Olympic run. When we watch the Olympics, we’ll know the terrain and know how it feels for the racers,” he said.

Whistler Mountain Ski Club racer Willy Konantz (Whistler, BC), who was well back in eighth place after the opening super-G, ended up in second place overall in a two-run time of 1:53.74.  "I definitely went a little too round in the super G", said Konantz.  "I could have gone a lot straighter.  The super G track is perfect.  The course workers have done a great job."  Konantz, who is a member of the BC Alpine J1 Development Team, was hoping for a top-10 finish in Saturday’s super combined. "I’m pretty happy with second place", he told us after the slalom run.  "I almost lost it so many times during the slalom.  It was really soft at the top then it got icy later on.  It was hard to adapt. I have to say all the training I’ve had this year has really helped me.  It’s been an amazing experience to be part of the BC development team."

William St-Germain (Mont-Ste-Anne) of Mont-Ste-Anne, QC was third in 1:53.91.

On the ladies side, the top three from the morning super-G run remained in tact after the slalom. Brenley Nella (Toronto, ON) the 17-year-old younger sister of Canadian national development team skier Tyler Nella (Toronto, ON), won in a two-run combined time of 1:50.57.

“I’ve only raced one super combined before. I’m confident in super-G but slalom is always hot and cold for me, so to pull it off today is big. After the super-G, I knew I was in the lead but I couldn’t let myself think about that. I had to go away and focus on doing a good slalom run in the afternoon. A race isn’t over until it’s over. Now I can celebrate,” said Nella, who races out of the Georgian Peaks Club.

“It’s so exciting to think that the top athletes in the world will be on this track in 2010. This is a huge win for me and it allows me to dream, I mean if I can win here, maybe I can win in the Olympics one day,” she added.

Both men’s and ladies races took place on the Lower Dave Murray, which will play host to men’s races during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games next winter.

American Vanessa Berther from Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State was second, just under half a second back with Julia Roth (Waterloo, ON) a first year J1 from Devil’s Glen Ski Club finishing in third place.

General Motors of Canada, the title sponsor of the national J1 championships, is providing skiers in Whistler with the opportunity to win a trip to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games with ballot boxes located in Whistler at Roundhouse, Rendezvous, Creekside Guest Relations and Glacier Creek Lodge.

Residents of Whistler can tune into Mountain FM for full details as well as information on the Pontiac Snow Team activities.

The Pontiac Snow Team was at Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s in Squamish, BC from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. local time this morning offering drivers of Pontiac and GMC vehicles two lift passes to Whistler Blackcomb. The Pontiac Snow Team will be in front of the Mountain FM studio in Squamish at Garibaldi Village in front of Boston Pizza and Canadian Tire tomorrow at the same time handing out more lift pass (while supplies last.)

Women’s Top-15 Super Combined
 1  6 NELLA Brenley  1992  CAN   1:06.09  44.48  1:50.57
 2  8 BERTHER Vanessa  1992  USA   1:06.21  44.80  1:51.01
 3  3 ROTH Julia  1993  CAN   1:06.34  44.87  1:51.21
 4  15 BISNAIRE Samantha  1993  CAN   1:06.84  45.82  1:52.66
 5  12 KRIESE Kandace  1992  CAN   1:07.49  45.94  1:53.43
 6  14 TESCHNER Randa  1992  CAN   1:08.15  45.40  1:53.55
 6  2 BARRETT Christine  1992  CAN   1:08.51  45.04  1:53.55
 8  11 FREEMAN Sarah  1992  Fernie  1:08.30  45.42  1:53.72
 9  18 MCLEISH Madison  1992  WMSC  1:08.46  45.37  1:53.83

 10  13 MICHALIK Victoria  1993  CAN   1:08.04  45.90  1:53.94
 11  60 ELLIOT Sarah  1992  Big White  1:09.68  45.01  1:54.69
 12  16 RYTZ Celine  1992  Fernie  1:10.03  45.14  1:55.17
 13  1 BLAIR Catriona  1992  WMSC  1:07.14  48.20  1:55.34

 14  20 LESSARD Katherine  1992  CAN   1:10.93  45.35  1:56.28
 15  23 RAMSDEN Jocelyn  1993  WMSC  1:09.78  47.24  1:57.02 


Men Top-15 Super Combined
 1  13 TURNBULL Mike  1992  CAN   1:05.43  45.52  1:50.95
 2  26 KONANTZ William  1993  WMSC  1:06.30  47.44  1:53.74
 3  4 ST-GERMAIN Wiliam  1992  CAN   1:05.90  48.01  1:53.91
 4  22 WELTON James  1992  CAN   1:06.72  47.51  1:54.23
 5  33 MORRIS Spencer  1993  WMSC  1:07.05  48.04  1:55.09
 6  21 PIKE Samuel  1992  CAN   1:07.50  48.16  1:55.66
 7  9 GERVAIS Alex  1992  CAN   1:07.16  49.00  1:56.16
 8  29 HAYTO Justin  1993  WMSC  1:08.04  48.29  1:56.33
 9  36 DAWSON Brett  1993  CAN   1:07.94  48.46  1:56.40
 10  23 BIGSBY Adam  1992  CAN   1:07.81  48.73  1:56.54
 11  45 BERGERON Nicolas  1993  CAN   1:07.87  48.83  1:56.70
 12  39 MCKENNA Christopher  1993  USA   1:07.62  49.14  1:56.76
 13  64 LAW Michael  1993  CAN   1:06.56  50.36  1:56.92
 14  30 MCKILLOP Curtis  1993  CAN   1:07.14  49.87  1:57.01
 15  43 KWONG Daniel  1993  WMSC  1:07.40  49.92  1:57.32