President’s Choice K2 Canadian Championships:Lathrop & Esau Claim First Titles
VERNON, B.C. (March 31, 2009) – After much anticipation, the 2009 President’s Choice K2 Canadian Championships got underway at Silver Star Mountain Resort. Competing under snowy skies and wintery temperatures, 82 ladies and 91 men kicked off the Championships on the steep and challenging Gypsy Queen piste.
Ladies’ Super Combined
After completing a super G run in the morning, the ladies took part in a slalom leg in the afternoon to crown the 2009 super combined champion.
Brittany Lathrop from the United States clinched the super combined title by achieving the second best super G run of the morning and the second best slalom leg of the afternoon. Lathrop, who is a first year K2 racer, completed both runs in a time of 1:36.53.
“It’s my first time racing in Canada and I’m really thrilled to kick things off with a win,” said Lathrop who skis out of Stratton Mountain School in Vermont. “I knew I had a shot at the gold because I had a solid super G run and my best event is slalom. Hopefully, I can keep up with this momentum and achieve top three results in the other upcoming races. I’m confident I can do it because I really like the race hill here,” she concluded.
Kailee Darlington from British Columbia had to settle for second place overall with an aggregate time of 1:38.39. The Whistler Mountain skier who enjoyed a comfortable one-second lead after a speedy super G run was pushed back to second place overall after achieving a less than perfect slalom run.
Devon Clarke from Ontario rounded out the podium with a two-run time of 1:38.44. Clarke achieving the sixth best super G run of the morning and the tenth fastest slalom leg of the afternoon.
Men’s Super G
Lincoln Esau who races out of Crabbe Mountain in New Brunswick took the gold in the men’s super G with a time of 1:02.54. Esau skied to an historic win, ending a 20 year drought since the last K2 title claimed by an athlete from the Maritimes.
“My goal was to get a top 20 so I was quite surprised when I saw my final result,” admitted Esau who intently chose not to compete in last year’s President’s Choice K2 Canadian Championships in order to gain more maturity in anticipation of this year’s event. “I felt very good this morning when I woke up and I had good feelings leading up to the race. I kept my focus and managed to ski to the best of my abilities. This exciting win certainly gives me a big boost for the remainder of the week,” concluded the skier who was joined by his parents for this big trip out West.
Despite being the 69th racer out of the start hut, Logan Mackie from the United States clinched the silver medal with a time of 1:02.92. Mackie was followed by Martin Grasic from British Columbia who rounded out the podium with a time of 1:03.31.
International Racers Raise the Bar at the President’s Choice K2 Canadian Championships
This year, in addition to attracting 162 of the best 13 and 14 year old racers from across Canada, the 2009 President’s Choice K2 Canadian Championships hosts ten successful skiers from the Northeast United States.
Representing the States of Maine, Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire, five ladies and five men were selected to attend Canada’s premier K2 event following regional championships held in their respective regions.
“The President’s Choice K2 Canadian Championships is a great opportunity for our athletes to gain international racing exposure while measuring themselves against Canada’s best skiers,” said Alex Krebs, Eastern Region Youth Development and Competition Manager. “Some of our athletes have never raced outside of the United States so this week is very good for their development as athletes and individuals. The competition hill at Silver Star is absolutely fantastic and we’re looking forward to an outstanding racing week for our team.”
To view live, online timing is available for the duration of the championships CLICK HERE.