Whistler’s Morgan Pridy will head into the Canadian Championships as the Nor-Am Cup champion in men’s super-G and super combined after a dominating performance at the tour’s finals last week.
Pridy won three races in two days at Nakiska, Alta., sweeping a pair of super-Gs and a combined race to earn the season titles in those disciplines on March 12 and 13. The 22-year-old will now be pre-qualified for World Cup racing next season.
“I did a few World Cups this year and I had to qualify at each race, which is extra stress you don’t need,” Pridy said in a release. “It feels amazing to be able to have a spot and know it’s just mine.
“At the start of the season it was one of my goals to get the downhill title or the super-G title,” continued Pridy, who finished with 455 points in the super-G standings and separated himself from American runner-up Jared Goldberg (381) with the two wins.
“It’s been a really good battle all year with (fellow Canadian Jeffrey) Frisch and Goldberg, and I was happy to be able to perform in the last couple of days for the win.”
The top two finishers in the Nor-Am standings earn the World Cup qualification for the following season. Whistler Mountain Ski Club product Ford Swette went into the Nor-Am finals ranked second in the giant slalom standings, but finished 19th and 22nd in two races at Nakiska and fell back to fourth on the year.
Conrad Pridy’s best finish during Nor-Am finals came in the March 12 super-G when he placed sixth. The 24-year-old, who spent much of the year racing World Cup downhills, finished fourth in the Nor-Am downhill standings and seventh in super-G.
Local skier Broderick Thompson of the B.C. Ski Team also competed at Nakiska and achieved his best result in the super combined, placing 26th.
The women’s Nor-Am finals took place simultaneously at California’s Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl resorts, with Pemberton’s Charley Field finishing in the points in five of six races. She placed 16th in both super-G and super combined on Monday (March 18) to close out the event and finished the year ranked 22nd in super-G.
Lepine, Murray headed to junior worlds
Sarah Lepine and Tyler Murray of the Whistler-based B.C. Ski Cross team both recorded back-to-back podium finishes in Nor-Am Cup competition at Panorama, helping both to spots on the Canadian roster for the FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships.
Murray recorded his first win on the circuit on Saturday (March 16) and returned to the men’s podium in second place on Sunday (March 17).
“I am really excited,” Murray said in a release. “The start here in Panorama is very technical, which suits me. This helped me get out in front. The course is very fun, really, but also very demanding.”
In women’s racing, Lepine picked up a silver medal on Saturday and placed third on Sunday, now sitting second in the season standings behind fellow Canadian India Sherret.
B.C. team coach Drew Hetherington said the Panorama course was the most difficult the squad had seen all season, making Lepine’s top-three finishes that much more impressive.
“She didn’t have the preferred gate choice and had to fight her way into the podium positions,” said Hetherington, noting that the course was better-suited for athletes with alpine racing experience. “Sarah comes from a freestyle background and has been learning her alpine skills in the last couple of years … (but) she was able to break into the big finals both days of competition.”
The Nor-Am season wraps up with another doubleheader Saturday and Sunday (March 23 and 24) at Oregon’s Mount Hood. Following that, Murray and Lepine will travel to Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy, for the junior world championships.