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Racers test skills in experimental new event at Mars Canadian Juvenile Alpine Championships


Racers test skills in experimental new event at Mars Canadian Juvenile Alpine Championships{mosimage}ATHLETES AT THE MARS CANADIAN JUVENILE ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS HAVE TO BE QUICK ON THEIR FEET AT THE CHALLENGING SKILLS EVENT

” You have to look ahead all the time, it’s like a dog chasing a bone.”
- Meredith Irving, Poley Mountain Racing Club

BANFF (Alberta) March 23, 2005 – Teams at the Mars Canadian Juvenile Alpine Championships tested their abilities for the first ever skills event held at a Canadian Championship race series. The event, which ran on the World Cup downhill run at Lake Louise, featured a very long and rapidly changing course that tested individual athlete ability. Racers had to be able to switch thinking and skiing tactics on a moment’s notice. They had to adapt to a variety of long and short gates and slalom turns with GS panels.
Athletes were challenged to utilize both their technical and speed skiing skills, back and forth for the duration of the race.

Athletes came off the skills course that took an average a minute and a half, completely exhausted. They explained that the course is so challenging to ski because it requires you to always change your rhythm, something that racers are not used to having to do as dramatically on strictly a slalom course for example.

Maude Longtin, who won gold in yesterday’s giant slalom, took the gold in today’s unique event in one minute, 26.82 seconds. Ontario put its’ first athlete on the podium when Erin Mielzynski of the Georgian Peaks Ski Club finished only .12 seconds off the mark in second, 1:26.94. Alberta’s own Nicole Poleschuck rounded out the women’s podium in third, 1:27.71. Racers agreed that this type of race was very good for experience and ability but more challenging to achieve a fast time.

Meredith Irving from the Poley Mountain Racing Club in New Brunswick explained the tactics of the skills event perfectly. ” You have to look ahead all the time, it’s like a dog chasing a bone!”

On the men’s side, Quebec’s Mathieu Routhier, who has finished gold in both the slalom and giant slalom events earlier this week, skied very smart to land him his third consecutive victory finishing .42 seconds ahead of team mate Frederic Bouchard who won bronze in the GS yesterday. Mekkenzie Dupis completed a Quebec podium sweep for the men finishing third in 1:25.11.

” My run was average,” told Routhier who has dominated the men all week. “
It is a very challenging race because I was constantly having to change my rhythm and tactics on a dime.”

B.C. Alpine Program Director, Gordie Bowles praised the event success, saying, ” today was a perfect event for us to see where our skill level is as a province.”

Daren Ingrey who coaches for Ontario also liked the days’ event and how it pushed racer ability to a new level. ” They have to ski very externally and reactionary,” explained Ingrey. ” The course really tests physical ability and endurance due to the length of the race.”

Alpine Canada Alpin’s National Program Director, Julie Lemieux was on site today to see athlete and coach reaction to this new race event.

” It went fantastic for a race that had never been done before,” exclaimed Lemieux. ” It was an excellent test of athlete endurance and fitness as well as a good assessment of a variety of wide spread skills necessary for racers to be successful.”

She continued, “It is a great chance to see something unique and different and showcase a ‘melting pot of skills’. It is my hope that coaches across the country will see how easy this event was to run and how effective a skills event is to assess their athletes and will implement it with their own clubs from entry level right through to K2. “

Mark Sharp, National Technical Director explained that the “purpose behind the event is to measure athlete adaptability and how athletes can think on their feet. This is a critical element for athletes to develop during the juvenile years, to be able to develop tactical and visual awareness over and above the repetition of corridors that they are used to. “

“This event is a total reflection of how the kids have been trained up until this point,” added Sharp. “The fact that this event has been included into the National Championships is a reflection of how important it is and despite how new it is to racers, the goal is to develop and utilize it similar to any other discipline.”

TOP-10 WOMEN’S RESULTS – MARCH 23, 205 – SKILLS EVENT 1. LONGTIN, Maude, SQA, 1:26.82 2. MIELZYNSKI, Erin, AOA, 1:26.94 3. POLESCHUCK, Nicole, 1:27.71 4. IRWIN, Stephanie, ALTA, 1:27.84 5. MORIN-PERRIN, Marilou, SQA, 1:28.00 6. MOREL, Catherine, SQA, 1:28.15 7. BEATTY, Heather, AOA, 1:28.42 8. CAMPBELL, Shannon, AOA, 1:28.54 9. KIROUAC, Melissa-Maude, SQA, 1:28.84 10. PHELAN, Brittany, SQA, 1:29.09

TOP-10 MEN’S RESULTS – MARCH 23, 2005 – SKILLS EVENT 1. ROUTHIER, Mathieu, SQA, 1:24.05 2. BOUCHARD, Frederic, SQA, 1:24.57 3. DUPUIS, Mekkenzie, SQA, 1:25.11 4. READ, Erik, ALTA, 1:25.70 5. TAFEL, Tristan, ALTA, 1:26.27 6. WILKINS, Micahel, AOA, 1:26.44 7. LAYTON, Max, ALTA, 1:26.66 8. HALBERT, Kelby, AOA, 1:27.11 9. MATEJKO, Philip, B.C., 1:27.28 10. CHARTRAND, Philippe, SQA, 1:27.48

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