Innichen, ITA (Dec. 22, 2018) – Canada’s Marielle Thomspon, 26, dominated her heats on Saturday and competed in her third big final in as many races, stepping onto the podium for the second time this season in Innichen, Italy – this time to collect the silver.
Thompson (Whistler, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club) was bested only by the race-winner, Sandra Naeslund of Sweden, as she earned her 33rd career-podium on the World Cup circuit.
“After (Friday’s) fourth place, I definitely wanted to step it up a notch,” said Thompson. “I skied well yesterday, but I was definitely better today – attacked, all the way down, every single run, and I’m really happy with second. Three finals in three races – I’m really stoked to come back from injury and be back where I wanted. I’m happy to be going home with a couple podiums.”
In her inaugural World Cup season, 21-year-old Mikayla Martin (Squamish, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club) skied into her first small final, earning a career-best sixth-place finish and besting her earlier standout result of ninth earned in Arosa, Switzerland, last week.
“I came into the day just wanting to ski my best,” said Martin. “This whole tour has been such a big learning curve, that I was trying to put everything together for the last race before Christmas. Not everything went perfectly, but I was able to put bits and pieces together and I’m proud of the way I finished.”
Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C./Big White Ski Club), India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C./Kimberley Alpine Team), and Abby McEwen (Edmonton/Sunridge Ski Club) finished 10th, 11th and 14th respectively, while Brittany Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que./Mont-Tremblant Ski Club), who placed sixth on the shorter track in Arosa, Switzerland, during the season-opener, settled for 17th in Italy.
On the men’s side, a similar story of veteran and up-and-comer played out as 20-year-old Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C./Okanagan Ski Club) powered to a fifth-place, edging out teammate and Friday’s bronze-medallist, Brady Leman (Calgary/Calgary Alpine Racing Club), who placed sixth.
“It’s been an amazing month-and-a-half here in Europe. The first two races (in Arosa, Switzerland, and in Innichen on Friday) were just big learning experiences for me – I was just trying to take away as much as I could,” said Howden, a World Cup rookie who found himself competing in his career-first small final. “I let myself get confident and am a little more aggressive in heats, and (it turned out) really well. I was making passes and was confident on my skis. Today was an amazing day – feels good.”
Toronto’s Kevin Drury finished 16th after placing fourth in his quarter-final heat, while Zach Belczyk (Banff, Alta./Sunshine Ski Club ABSX), Chris Del Bosco (Montreal and Vail, Col./Ski and Snowboard Club Vail), and Kevin MacDonald (Mississauga, Ont./Milton Heights Racing Club ABSX) were unable to move on past the qualification run and placed 27th, 34th and 35th respectively.
The men and women on Canada’s Ski Cross Team will be back in action on Jan. 19-20, in Idre Fjall, Sweden, to pursue their World cup podium chase.
Celebrate today’s podium results by joining the Medallists’ Circle
For the 2018-19 ski racing season, Alpine Canada is inviting ski fans to join the Medallists’ Circle. Donors are invited to commit a pledge for each podium performance by an Alpine Canada athlete this season at World Cup and World Championship events. All funds raised through the Medallists’ Circle will provide Canada’s alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross athletes with the resources needed to reach for the podium. For further information, please visit AlpineCanada.org.
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