Schleper takes win in Lake Placid
Nor-Am Cup: Schleper and Spence win in Lake Placid
By Eric Williams
Sunday March 15, 2009
The 2009 Nor-Am Cup season concluded today with a men’s slalom and a women’s giant slalom in Lake Placid, New York. Over the course of the season six U.S. skiers earned spots on next year’s World Cup tour.
The finals were dominated by the Canadians and today was no exception. Canadian skiers grabbed five of six podiums on the day and 16 of 22 World Cup spots for the 2009/2010 season.
Canadian men swept the slalom podium led by World Cup bound Brad Spence. Teammates Ryan Semple and Patrick Biggs finished second and third, respectively.
Spence claimed top-two spots in both the slalom and giant slalom dsciplines, earning at shot at the sport’s highest level. Sempe will join him with the second slalom spot and a super combined slot.
Cody Marshal led the American skiers today in fourth, followed by David Chodounsky in fifth and Colby Granstrom in sixth.
American World Cup veteran Sarah Schleper grabbed the top spot in the ladies giant slalom in a combined time of 2:38.63 with Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon half a second back, followed by teammate Geneviève Simard in third.
Gagnon (19) finished with 784 Nor-Am Cup points, 125 points ahead of her closest competitor American Julia Ford.
“I was about 70 points ahead going into today so I knew I needed today’s result,” said Gagnon. “I skied well, a little safe because I was really going for the title and the World Cup spot for next year. It’s what I was aiming for so it’s very good.”
Canadian Louis-Pierre Hélie wrapped up the men’s Nor-Am title, finishing with 1149 points. Fellow Canadian Jeffrey Frisch placed second with a total of 754 points.
“I’m pretty happy with the season. It has been by far the best season of my life and I have to say the coaching this summer was a huge part of it, all the skiing I did with Pavel (Stastny) and Pete (Rybarik) this summer,” said the 23-year-old Hélie.
The United States edged Canada 7791 to 7143 in the Nor-Am Nations Cup standings.