|WHISTLER, B.C. - (April 7) - Burke Mountain Academy's Mikaela Shiffrin (Lyme, NH), won three gold medals leading the U.S. squad to overall victory as the team collected the Nations Cup trophy at the 2008 Whistler Cup. Shiffrin's three wins came in giant slalom, slalom and combined over the course of the three-days of premier international junior (age 11-14) racing. With nearly 400 athletes from 21 countries competing, the U.S. team of 30 athletes from across the country had five wins, 12 podiums and 33 top 10 finishes.|
"I'm very proud of this team. We exceeded our performance goals but I think more than that I'm just really proud that the athletes and staff were able to come together and really focus and the athletes had fun," National Competition Director Walt Evans said. "When the athletes have fun they really ski to their potential. Everyone went and got the job done. It was pretty cool."
Day 1: Off to a great start
Shiffrin started out Friday winning the J4 (age 11-12) women's combined. Hana Saydek (Cavendish, VT/Okemo Mountain Ski Club) was second and Canada's Roni Remme rounded out the podium with third.
The J3 (age 13-14) women continued the U.S. medal count with Greta Byrne (Avon, CO/Ski Club Vail) taking the silver in the women's super G. The Czech Republic's, Valentina Volopichova won the race.
Day 2: Shiffrin wins again
Shiffrin kicked off the second day of competition at the Whistler Cup earning her second gold medal with a win in the giant slalom. Japan's Ayumi Muranaka was second and Okemo's Saydek landed another podium, finishing third.
"The course was really fun, I felt like I really went for it," Shiffrin said.
Byrne led the J3 women, finishing second in the slalom. Germany's Andrea Filser won and her teammate Christina Goessner was third. The J3 women also had four athletes in the top 10 with Foreste Peterson (Berkeley, CA/Squaw Valley Ski Team) in fifth, Sydney Staples (Park City, UT/Park City Ski Education Foundation) in ninth and Elle Gilbert (Woodstock, VT/Woodstock Ski Runners) in 10th.
Day 3: Shiffrin sweeps by wide margin
Shiffrin won her third gold in the J4 slalom to close out the Whistler Cup. She won by 2.35 seconds over Petra Ulhova of Slovakia. Russia's Ekaterina Tkachenko was third. Saydek had a great weekend also finishing fourth in the slalom.
After finishing with silver in the men's combined, Norton went on to win the men's J4 slalom as well. Hughston was in fourth after the first run by .14 and had the fastest second run to win the race by .51 over Slovakia's Roman Murin. Ski Club Vail's Alex Leever (Vail, CO) tied for third with Canadian Karl Kuus.
Peterson led U.S. women in the J3 giant slalom finishing seventh. Austrian Lisa Reis won the race, followed by the Volopichova in second and Gossner in third.
While the U.S. delegation was leading the Nations Cup tally throughout the race series, the J4 crew won their division outright to secure the overall Nations Cup for the first time in U.S. Whistler Cup racing history. It was also the best showing since 2007 when the U.S. team finished second in the standings. Austria finished second and Canada third.
"It was nice to see these young men and women from across the country and from various club programs come together as a team and bring home all these medals," said Evans. "These outstanding juniors represented their clubs and America well. They will be heard from again as they continue to develop through the USSA pipeline."
2008 SIERRA WIRELESS WHISTLER CUP
Whistler, B.C. - April 4-6, 2008
Friday, April 4
J4 Women's Combined
1. Mikaela Shiffrin, Lyme, NH/Burke Mountain Academy, 51.54
2. Hana Saydek, Cavendish, VT/Okemo Mountain Ski Club, 52.25
3. Roni Remme, Canada, 53.27
4. Petra Vlhova, Slovakia, 53.65
5. Ayumi Muranaka, Japan, 54.30
J3 Women's Super G
1. Valentina Volopichova, Czech Republic, 1:09.66
2. Greta Byrne, Avon, CO/Ski Club Vail, 1:10.62
3. Riccarda Haaser, Austria, 1:10.74
4. Kathrin Auer, Austria, 1:10.77
5. Christina Goessner, Germany, 1:11.01
Saturday, April 5
J4 Women's Giant Slalom
1. Mikaela Shiffrin, Lyme, NH/Burke Mountain Academy, 46.27
2. Ayumi Muranaka, Japan, 47.63
3. Hana Saydek, Cavendish, VT/Okemo Mountain Ski Club, 47.94
4. Petra Vlhova, Slovakia, 48.40
5. Alix Wells, Canada, 48.59
J3 Women's Slalom
1. Andrea Filser, Gremany, 1:31.49
2. Greta Byrne, Avon, CO/Ski Club Vail, 1:31.95
3. Christina Goessner, Germany, 1:32.78
4. Lisa Reis, Austria, 1:35.00
5. Foreste Peterson, Berkeley, CA/Squaw Valley Ski Team, 1:35.80
Sunday, April 6
J4 Women's Slalom
1. Mikaela Shiffrin, Lyme, NH/Burke Mountain Academy, 1:02.29
2. Petra Vlhova, Slovakia, 1:05.64
3. Ekaterina Tkachenko, Russia, 1:06.77
4. Hana Saydek, Cavendish, VT/Okemo Mountain Ski Club, 1:06.96
5. Roni Remme, Canada, 1:07.58
J3 Women's Giant Slalom
1. Lisa Reis, Austria, 51.91
2. Valentina Volopichova, Czech Republic, 52.10
3. Christina Goessner, Germany, 52.36
4. Katharina Leidgschwendner, Germany, 52.72
5. Gillian Chisholm, Canada, 53.46
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For complete results click here.
photos Janos Schmidt