The 2016 Fidelity Spring Series, hosted by WMSC on the Dave Murray National Training center, commenced on Monday after a week of above average temperatures and clear evenings, which allowed the snow to solidify somewhat.
BC Ski Team’s Stefanie Fleckenstein took full advantage of an early start number to lay down what proved to be the fastest time for the ladies. Ontario Ski Team’s Stephanie Currie continued her great skiing from the Canadian Championships to claim 2nd spot (+1.32 seconds), and U18 racer Andrea Louise Arnold from Czech Republic was third (+1.5 seconds).
The men inherited the “experienced” course from the ladies and proceeded to work over the softening snow over the next 140 racers. Morgan Pridy continued where he left off after the speed events at the Nationals, winning the race, followed by Tyler Werry, 0.2secs off the pace. Technical ace and Canadian Champion in SL, Ontario’s Phil Brown, edged Whistler’s Brodie Seger for the final podium spot.
The BC Men’s ski team posted impressive results in the stacked field, led by Riley Seger in 7th (+1.08) Cameron Alexander and Sam Mulligan tied in 10th (+1.48), and Max Kirshenblatt and Max Peiffer separated by 2/100ths in 12th and 13th respectively. BC Team's Kirshenblatt also found himself in a familiar spot atop the U18 podium Monday.
"It feels great to end the speed season successfully and it's been a blast doing it here at my home mountain racing against a field full of my ski racing idols," said Kirshenblatt. "Over the past two days whistler has lived up to the stereotypes giving us rain and challenging racing conditions, but all the volunteers worked hard and pulled off a good race"
Fleckenstein found the course conditions challenging: “It was a pretty turny set, given the soft conditions. The course crew had to work pretty hard to keep the transitions in raceable condition. I was happy to have bib 3 today, I’m sure the 140th guy skied a way different course than I did.”
Weather conditions changed overnight into Tuesday, with snow at the start and rain at the bottom, adding to the pervious day’s challenges. The course ran about 5 seconds faster than on Monday as the set reflected the softening snow, especially on the final pitch to the finish.
Fleckenstein made it 2 for 2, beating Ontario Ski Team's Stephanie Currie in 2nd by 1.61. Alberta's Sarah Taylor rounded out the podium in 3rd.
"I love racing at Whistler," said Fleckenstein. "It’s an awesome speed hill with steeps, flats and lots of terrain at this time of the year. After a long year on the road, I really appreciate the support that all of us on the BC Ski Team when we're back home. It was also nice to have Mikayla Martin back in the start after 8 weeks on the sideline, and a quick shout out to Toni Wearmouth as well. Finally, thanks to all of the volunteers who took time off work to keep the track safe.”
On the men’s side, Broderick Thompson finally broke Pridy’s stranglehold on speed events on the DMNTC, claiming the win ahead of Canadian Development Team member Jeffrey Read. Pridy did find his way onto the podium in 3rd spot (+.41 seconds). Big White Racer Ryan Moffat, who represented Canada at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Norway, landed in 7th place overall in Tuesday's super-G, capturing gold in the U18 race. BCST’s Sam Mulligan in 8th and Max Kirshenblatt in 9th were the sole survivors on the rapidly deteriorating course. The men’s race was finally called after 71 racers, in the interest of athlete safety, as the foggy conditions and soft snow finally had their say.
|Rank||Bib||Women's Super-G, Apr 11/16 FULL RESULTS||Year||Nation||Total Time|
|3||14||ARNOLD Andrea Louise - 1st U18||1998||CZE||1:24.34|
|5||12||SMITH Gabrielle - 2nd U18||1998||CAN||1:25.68|
|6||9||BELCZYK ZOE - 3rd U18||1998||CAN||1:26.48|
|Rank||Bib||Men's Super-G, Apr 11/16 FULL RESULTS||Year||Nation||Total Time|
|12||18||KIRSHENBLATT Max - 1st U18||1998||CAN||1:21.10|
KOYAMA Yohei - 2nd U18
COPP Griffin - 3rd U18
|Rank||Bib||Women's Super-G, Apr 12/16 FULL RESULTS||Year||Nation||Total Time|
|5||3||SMITH Gabrielle - 1st U18||1998||CAN||1:21.23|
|6||17||SWAFFIELD Laura - 2nd U18||1998||CAN||1:21.53|
|7||18||NATALENKO Kristina - 3rd U18||1999||CAN||1:21.80|
|Rank||Bib||Men's Super-G, Apr 12/16 FULL RESULTS||Year||Nation||Total Time|
|7||25||MOFFAT Ryan - 1st U18||1998||CAN||1:14.55|
|9||18||KIRSHENBLATT Max - 2nd U18||1998||CAN||1:14.65|