Calgary, Alta. (March 23, 2018) – Today, Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C.) and Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C.) were crowned the 2018 Sport Chek National Ski Cross Champions. Hosted by RED Mountain Resort and sponsored by Sport Chek, the 2018 Ski Cross National Championships close out a wildly successful season for the Canada Ski Cross Team.
“There were some really difficult heats today, including the last two,” said Howden. “Everyone was pushing hard and there were a lot of guys out here today who have the skills to be on top but it worked out for me today. There was a lot of passing in the finals. Out of the gate I was in fourth so I had some work to do. I’m super stoked to be the national champion.”
“Today was great and the course held up really well,” said Serwa. “Everyone had a great attitude. The organizers were great, the volunteers were great, the coaches were great. Some really good racing out there and I didn’t feel like I could let up on any heat, which is really a testament to the depth of talent in this country. I started my ski cross career at RED Mountain back in 2008 so it feels nostalgic to be back here again. It’s a great community that’s really welcomed us in with open arms.”
It was a tight race in the men’s final big final, with four Canada Ski Cross team athletes gunning for the Canadian Champion title. Howden, Ian Deans (Kelowna, B.C.), Kevin Drury (Toronto, Ont.) and Trent McCarthy (Spruce Grove, Alta.) made it to the big final and battled it out the whole way down. Howden came out on top today with Deans finishing in second-place and Drury rounding out the national podium in third-place.
“The heats were very competitive today,” said Deans. “The Nor-Am skiing has really stepped up in Canada and the U.S. so it’s not an easy win anymore, as was evident today. I executed everything I wanted to today but hats off to Reece for some great skiing and making great passes today.”
“It was a good day out there,” said Drury. “The heats were really fun and it was great battling it out with the younger guys. Some of them have really fast starts so that was fun to watch and battle it out the whole way down the course. This was a nice way to finish the season!”
Olympic gold medallist, Serwa, and silver medallist, Britt Phelan (Mont-Treblant, Que.) battled it out once again for the top spot today. Serwa reached for the line in the big finals, winning the national championship title by an arms-length over Phelan.
“The day was pretty fun,” said Phelan. “I was out front in every heat today except the finals. I was trying to catch Kels on the way down and tried to make some passes on the inside but was just getting the door closed on me. But it was a close race today. The track was super fun and the snow set up super well. There was lots of passing opportunities the whole way down and in general it was just good vibes all day.”
Next Gen athletes Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.) and Zoe Chore (Cranbrook, B.C.) held their own in the big final, not letting Serwa and Phelan out of their sights. Gairns crossed the line in third-place and Mc Ewen finished in fourth-place.
“It’s been a really awesome season and this is a reflection of that,” said Gairns. “Britt and Kelsey were leading the whole way but I had them in my sights so I’m really happy about that! It’s super exciting to be racing with all levels and I really love nationals at RED Mountain.”
The ski cross athletes will close out their season tomorrow with the Nor-Am Cup Finals race held on the same track at RED Mountain Resort.
Men’s 2018 Sport Chek National Ski Cross Championships Podium
1 – Reece Howden
2 – Ian Deans
3 – Kevin Drury
Ladies’ 2018 Sport Chek National Ski Cross Championships Podium
1 – Kelsey Serwa
2 – Britt Phelan
3 – Tiana Gairns
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.