BC Ski Team's Charley Field (Whistler Mountain Ski Club) was trying different lines in the training runs leading up to this week's national championship downhill competition. According to coach JP Daigneault, Field was learning the track and lurking back in about 10th position during training, but on race day showed she's a money player by making it happen when it counts, finishing Friday's downhill race as the top BC competitor in 4th position overall.

"Charley been getting better and better all season with her game-day performances," said Daigneault. "It was also really great to see Alix Wells (BCST/Prince George) rip down her second-ever downhill race. She is finding courage I doubt she even knew she had!  We're all hoping for same or better performances in the super-G. Unfortunately, we're missing local favourite Emma King (BCST/WMSC) because of a knee injury she suffered at Nor-Am finals last week. Emma was really getting her speed skiing fine-tuned, and was ready for this race. It’s unfortunate, but Alix and Charley are picking up the pace in Emma's absence."

Canadian Championships – Ladies' Downhill Results, Whistler, March 21/14

Rank Bib Name Year Nation Total Time
               1               18 REMME Roni 1996  CAN   1:07.73
 2  10 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier                  1988  CAN   1:07.89
 3  22 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990  CAN   1:08.09
 4  12 FIELD Charley (BCST/WMSC) 1995  CAN   1:08.17
 5  19 BARTLETT Caroline 1995  CAN   1:08.45
 6  11 POITRAS Adrienne 1995  CAN   1:08.58
 7  13 IRWIN Madison 1991  CAN   1:08.77
 8  16 TOMMY Mikaela 1995  CAN   1:08.81
 9  14 GRENIER Valerie 1996  CAN   1:09.08
 10  9 BERMEL Rebecca 1994  CAN   1:09.42


Canadian Championships – Men's Downhill Results, Whistler, March 22/14

Rank Bib Name Year Nation Total Time
                1                 7 PRIDY Morgan 1990  CAN   1:04.01
 2  5 WERRY Tyler (BCST/FAST) 1991  CAN   1:04.56
 3  6 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987  CAN   1:04.67
 4  18 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984  CAN   1:04.69
 5  9 NYMAN Steven 1982  USA   1:04.70
 6  11 SCHUESSLER BEDARD William            1993  CAN   1:04.73
 7  2 COOK Dustin 1989  CAN   1:04.74
 8  8 PRIDY Conrad 1988  CAN   1:04.89
 9  12 STEINKE Chris 1993  CAN   1:04.92
 10  14 BELL Jeffrey 1993  CAN   1:05.20


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Morgan Pridy wins downhill title at Sport Chek Canadian Championships
Image: Morgan Pridy wins downhill title at Sport Chek Canadian Championships

WHISTLER, B.C. (March 22, 2014) — Morgan Pridy added a national downhill title to an increasingly impressive resumé that included a breakthrough 10th-place finish at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as he won Saturday’s glamour event at the Sport Chek Canadian Championships by more than half a second.

The 23-year-old hometown hero, who grew up racing on the slopes of Whistler, B.C., provided further evidence that he’s ready to emerge from the shadows of the Canadian Cowboys and establish himself as one of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team’s rising stars.

With three-time World Cup winner Manuel Osborne-Paradis withdrawing due to a back problem and Canadian World Cup podium record holder Erik Guay and Olympic bronze medallist Jan Hudec also absent, Pridy took top honours as Canada’s next generation of speed skiers battled for the prestigious downhill crown. Tyler Werry (BCST) of Calgary, Alta., who has been training with the national development team, was second Saturday, while Ben Thomsen, of Invermere, B.C., was third.

“It’s super cool to have a national championship title,” said Pridy of his first podium at nationals. “I got a little bit of luck with the conditions – a couple of course holds here and there and the fog coming in and out – but it all worked out. I’m super happy.”

Pridy, the younger brother of fellow national team racer Conrad, was identified by his teammates and coaches as one to watch going into the 2013-14 season. Like a lot of young racers, he found it difficult to break through on the World Cup circuit but two top-30 finishes in Kitzbühel, Austria, in January, helped him make Canada’s team for Sochi. He excelled in his Olympic debut, finishing a superb 10th in the super-G on the same day Hudec became the first Canadian in 20 years to win an Olympic medal.

“I really needed this. It’s a nice weight off my shoulders going into the off-season,” explained Pridy, who needed points from the national championships in order to set himself up for 2014-15. “We have a chance to score FIS results here, which is great.

“I would have liked to have raced Johnny (Kucera), Manny, Erik and Jan for the title but that’s how it works out and I’m pretty pleased with the result, for sure.”

Super-G has been Pridy’s best discipline this season and he’s also considered a strong prospect in giant slalom. Due to his smaller frame, he’s not an archetypal downhiller but he showed Saturday that he’s making big strides in the glamour discipline.

“I really don’t want to have another season where I’m only performing in one discipline,” said Pridy, who clocked a time of one minute, 4.01 seconds Saturday. “I want to race and do well every weekend – not five days out of every year. Downhill is something I’m going to have to work hard at but today is great. I’m going to be focusing more on giant slalom and I’ll do everything here (at nationals) except slalom.”

With the fog rolling in and out Saturday, the weather was a factor in a race that was extremely tight – with positions two through nine separated by less than four-tenths of a second. U.S. veteran Steven Nyman – a two-time World Cup winner who was a major podium threat – was one of the racers who went down in less than perfect conditions.

Werry, who won the Nor-Am Cup super-G title to earn himself a World Cup spot for next season, was second Saturday in 1:04.56. Thomsen, who struggled on the World Cup this season but came through with a clutch 12th-place finish in the Kitzbühel downhill to qualify for the Olympics, had a strong run Saturday to claim his first podium at nationals.

“I thought it was a pretty good run but apparently I was missing a couple of things,” said Thomsen, who crossed the line in 1:04.67. “Morgan skied really, really well today – he really brought his A-game. I’m really happy that I’m on the podium.”

Veteran Jeffrey Frisch, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., who was second in downhill at the 2013 nationals and won the super-G, finished fourth Saturday in 1:04.69, while Nyman was one-hundredth of a second back in fifth. Development team racer William Schuessler-Bédard, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., (Club de ski Sutton/Ski Québec Alpin) was the top U21 in sixth (1:04.73), while Cameron Alexander, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, was the top U18 in 17th.

A special dual slalom featuring alpine and para-alpine racers was due to be held at 4 p.m. local time on Saturday, followed by autograph signing and an après party at the GLC.

The national championship races continue in Whistler on Sunday with the Sport Chek Canadian Championships ladies’ super-G, as well as the national para-alpine championship slalom races for men and women. The ladies’ super-G is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. local time. You can follow it via live timing: http://live-timing.com/races.php

**Schedule subject to change. Please visit our event website at http://www.alpinecanada.org/events/canadian-championships-2014 for all the latest information.

Keith Bradford
Director, Communications | Directeur des Communications
Alpine Canada Alpin

Upcoming Schedule:

23 MARCH 2014 SG Championships (W), SG-FIS (M)

24 MARCH 2014 SG Championships (M), SG-FIS (W)

25 MARCH 2014 SL Championships (W), GS Championships (M)

26 MARCH 2014 GS Championships (W), SL Championships (M)