Calgary, Alta. (January 20, 2018) – In front of a home crowd at the final World Cup before the Olympics, Canada Ski Cross put six Canadians into the top ten. At the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup at Nakiska Ski Area, presented by Mackenzie Investments, Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C.) and Kevin Drury (Toronto, Ont.) were the top Canadians, both finishing in fourth-place.
The day was full of action and the track was built for big air and lots of passing. Serwa and Drury both pushed hard all day, making passes and showing really great technical skiing.
In the big final, Serwa started out with a lead but a crash took her out of the running for a podium finish.
“I had a strong start today in the big final but things got a little hairy and I ended up in some soft stuff,” said Serwa. “Coming into the negative I just didn’t stand on my ski and it popped off. But, it was really cool coming into the finish line with the crowd here. It’s the best feeling having family and friends here because they love you no matter how you finish. I’m happy with my skiing and it’s been building all winter long.”
Drury had a great day and just missed out on a podium finish, matching his career-best finish of fourth-place in official race results. He showed great technical skiing today in difficult heats to advance all the way to the big final.
“It’s amazing to race at home,” said Drury. “There’s nothing like it with everyone cheering your name. It’s a special moment. I just need to continue to ski the way I skied today and keep that going on my way to the Olympics.”
Eleven Canadians qualified for today’s race, including five women and six men. One of the biggest stories of the day is development team athlete, Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.) qualifying for her first World Cup race and landing herself in the small final. The 19-year-old showed her promise as a next gen athlete, qualifying for the semifinals in a stacked heat.
“I’m just so overwhelmed with today,” said Gairns. “I couldn’t be happier with how it went.”
Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), was off to a great start, qualifying through to the semifinals with teammate Serwa. A mistake out of the start cost her a spot in the big final but she found redemption, winning the small final to finish in fifth-place.
“I’m really happy with all the progression I’ve had,” said Phelan. “This is only my second year on the World Cup circuit so I couldn’t be happier with where I am today. You always want to be in the big final with a home crowd but everyone here is so supportive so I’m pretty happy with my day.”
Georgia Simmerling (West Vancouver, B.C.) crashed just before the finish and was taken off the hill by medical personelle. We will share the status on her recovery as we receive updates.
Over in the men’s small final, Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, Que.) had success early in the day, qualifying through the 1/8 and quarterfinals. With really tough competition and battles on the men side, Del Bosco was knocked into the small final, finishing the day in sixth-place.
“The first run was a pretty good battle but every run today was a tough race,” said Del Bosco. “I’m happy to ski four heats again and it’s always a good day when you can at least make it to the small final and it’s really nice to be at home after being on the road all year. The skiing is there, so I’m happy with that. We’ll do a little training camp to fine tune some stuff and get fired up for the Games.”
Development team athlete, Ian Deans (Kelowna, B.C.),has been having a great season and continued to show great promise today. He finished the day in 14th-place.
Brady Leman, Kris Mahler and Mathieu Leduc also qualified for today’s race. An unfortunate crash and hairy battle knocked both Leman and Leduc out in the first round. Mahler also missed out on advancing.
India Sherret qualified for today’s race in 14th-place but missed out on advancing through the quarterfinal.
Canadian Ladies Results
4 - Kelsey Serwa
5 – Britt Phelan
6 - Tiana Gairns
8 – Georgia Simmerling
15 - India Sherret
Canadian Men’s Results
4 – Kevin Drury
6 – Chris Del Bosco
14 – Ian Deans
17 – Brady Leman
30 – Kris Mahler
32 – Mathieu Leduc
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.