Senior National Championship competition sees developing talent dazzle in Collingwood
Georgian Peaks, ON (March 15) -- In the first day of competition at the Senior National Championships, which are taking place for the first time since 2019, Canada’s pool of talented ski racers put on a show in the men’s and women’s giant slalom events.
Liam Wallace (Calgary, AB) who made his debut on the World Cup circuit for the first time this season, laid down almost identical runs – 48.62 and 48.64 – to blaze a trail into first place with a combined time of 1:37.26. On his tail was Justin Alkier (Toronto, ON) and Jeff Read (Canmore, AB), less than a second off the pace.
“It’s great to be racing back in Canada and in Ontario, I was born here so friends and family could make it out,” says Wallace. “I want to keep rolling, keep doing my thing, and have fun.”
“It’s a long time since I’ve skied giant slalom with the COVID delays and being a speed team guy and I knew it would be a battle against these tech guys,” says Read, fresh off a personal best 7th place finish in downhill at the World Cup in Kvitfjell, NOR. “I was in the mix and really hammered the second run and I’m really happy with third and how everything went.”
The women’s race was equally tight and contested, with Sarah Bennett (Stoneham, QC) coming out on top with a combined time of 1:41.48, with Britt Richardson (Canmore, AB) racing to second and a tie for third between Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler, B.C.) and Kiki Alexander (Calgary, AB).
“It was fun to have redemption, I haven’t finished a GS here in a little while,” says Bennett of her win today. “In tomorrow’s [FIS] race, I’m looking forward to the sun and hopefully some good conditions.”
Bennett also offered some words of wisdom to any young ski racers in the crowd who hope to be crowned Canadian Champion in the future: “Take it race by race, don’t look too far into the future and stay focused on the present.”
National Championship action continues on March 17th with skiers competing in the slalom at Osler Bluffs.
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Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community. In 2020/21, Alpine Canada celebrated 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.