Rytz, Freeman, Pankratz Step onto GMC Cup Downhill Podium at Apex Mtn.

Article #1833
Published By: Kathy Stahr

January 26, 2010 - for complete official results click HERE

APEX MOUNTAIN, B.C. – Ben Thomsen of Invermere, B.C., can feel the opposition narrowing the gap but he’s still not being caught as he snared a second consecutive men’s downhill victory on Tuesday at the GMC Cup alpine skiing competition.

Thomsen, the circuit’s Western champ the past two seasons, clocked one minute and 17.51 seconds for the victory after winning Monday’s downhill. Conrad Pridy (BC Ski Team/WMSC) notched a second straight silver medal clocking 1:18.04 while Cory Canart of Beaumont, Alta., was third in 1:18.35.

“In the past years I have had a large lead on the rest of the pack but this season the intensity is way up and the field is really strong at the GMC Cup,” said Thomsen. “I was anxious and nervous at the start and I’m just glad that I came out on top again.”

Pridy, a fourth-year B.C., alpine team member said he posted a much better run on Tuesday.
“I felt much better today and was happy with my result when I crossed the finish,” Pridy said. “I was able to clean up the mistakes that I made yesterday and gave it all I had. The course was a lot faster due to the perfect conditions.”
Canart was impressive in the training runs posting the first and second fastest times.

“It was fun today,” he said. “The course was just fun and it was a great day to run a downhill. I was hoping for a better result but it was a good fair race. “

The women raced two downhills as snowy weather cancelled their races on Sunday and Monday. The weather was picture perfect on Tuesday.

Celine Rytz (BC Ski Team/FAST) rebounded from a disappointing first race to win the second downhill clocking 1:25.73 with Noelle Barahona of Chile second in 1:25.96 and Alexandria Pankratz of Kelowna (Big White Racers) third in 1:26.01.

Rytz found inspiration for her second run.

“I watched Franz Klammer’s downhill win at the Innsbruck Olympics on YOU Tube,” said Rytz. “I watched the last 20 guys on their race this morning and saw that the course was tough. Watching the guys mentally prepared me to brace for the worst.”

In the opener, Barahona took the gold in 1:23.80 with Sarah Freeman (BC Ski Team/FAST) second in 1:23.88 and Jetta Rackleff of the U.S., third in 1:24.14.

“I had a bit of trouble about eight gates into the race and it was a bit of a struggle to get back,” said Freeman. “I was pleased that I was able to finish on the podium. I am looking forward to the next downhill race to clean up some of the rough spots on my run.” 

Downhill: 1. Ben Thomsen, Invermere, B.C., 1:17.51; 2. Conrad Pridy, Whistler, B.C., 1:18.04; 3. Cory Canart, Beaumont, Alta., 1:18.35; 4. Jorge Mandru, Chile, 1:19.19; 5. Mathieu Leduc, Comox, B.C., 1:19.20; 6. Morgan Pridy, Whistler, 1:19.23; 7. Jack Evans, Britain, 1:19.90; 8. Jeffrey Bell, Calgary, 1:20.81; 9. Michael Law, Cochrane, Alta., 1:20.89 ; 10. Benjamin MacLean, Pemberton, B.C., 1:20.90.

Men's J1 Podium
BELL Jeffrey  1993 First J1 
LAW Michael  1993 Second J1
VAUGEOIS Sean  1993 Third J1 

Downhill: 1. Noelle Barahona, Chile, 1:23.80; 2. Sarah Freeman, Fernie, B.C., 1:23.88; 3. Jetta Rackleff, U.S., 1:24.14; 4. Clare Wise, U.S., 1:24.45; 5. Alexandria Pankratz, Kelowna, B.C., 1:24.92; 6. Elyse Timoshenko, Australia, 1:24.98; 7. Celine Rytz, Fernie, B.C., 1:25.30; 8. Kailee Darlington, Whistler, B.C., 1:25.48; 9. Keree Smith, U.S., 1:25.89; 10, Daniella Aberger, Revelstoke, B.C., 1:26.03.

Women's J1 Podium (first downhill race) 
 5 PANKRATZ Alexandria  1993 First J1 
 6 TIMOSHENKO Elyse  1993 Second J1 
 8 DARLINGTON Kailee  1994 Third J1

Downhill #2 : 1. Celine Rytz, Fernie, B.C., 1 :25.73; 2. Noelle Barahona, Chile, 1 :25.96; 3. Alexandria Pankratz, Kelowna, B.C., 1 :26.01; 4. Sarah Freeman, Fernie, B.C., 1:26.28; 5. Clare Wise, U.S., 1:26.53 ; 6. Jetta Rackleff, U.S., 1:26.92 ; 7. Kailee Darlington, Whistler, B.C., 1:27.07; 8. Keree Smith, U.S., 1:27.51; 9. Haylee Joliffe, North Vancouver, 1:27.90 ; 10. Daniella Aberger, Revelstoke, B.C., 1:27.91. 

Women's J1 Podium (second downhill race)
 3 PANKRATZ Alexandria  1993 First J1 
 7 DARLINGTON Kailee  1994 Second J1 
  13 GIBSON Kaitlyn  1993 Third J1

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