JuniorsRacingStrong Day For North America at World Juniors

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 23, 2008

Alex Harvey (CAN) finished 4th in the men's freestyle sprint at the World Junior Championships in Malles, Italy. Harvey qualified in 20th and skied his way through the heats.

Calle Halfvarsson (SWE) won his first Junior World Championship title ahead of teammate Jesper Modin. Raul Shakirzianov (RUS) was third.

Canada had all four starters qualify for the heats with Frederick Touchette finishing 18th, Julien Nury 25th, and Len Valjas 28th.

“We have had a great week of training and the entire team was ready for the competition and it was a remarkable day for our team,” said Eric Bailey, team lead for the Canadian World Junior squad. “It was great skiing today with fantastic conditions on a challenging course in the hot mountain sun.”

The American team qualified two – Kevin Cutts finished 22nd after qualifying in 9th, and Reid Pletcher ended the day in 29th. Max Treinen finished 71st and Reese Hanneman 77th to complete the day for the US.

Said winner Halfvasson “I’m World Champion – unbelievable! The race was optimal, I had super skis and this kind of course suits me very well. I didn't believe I could win! And now, with Jesper Modin on the podium right behind me — I’m very satisfied!”

In the women's race, 19-year-old Laure Barthelemy (FRA) won the Junior World Championships title on the 1.3 km course ahead of her teammate Aurelie Dabudyk. 17-year-old Lucia Anger of Germany took third.

Said Barthelemy, “I was so surprised; I didn’t expect that I could win this race. My goal had been to attack in the long distance races. But I am very happy that it worked so well for me and for my teammate Aurelie. The track was tough and also the high altitude is not so easy, but now I am doubly motivated for the rest of the World Championships.”

Ida Sargent led the North Americans with her 12th place finish. Sargent, who has dominated the Eastern Collegiate circuit this season, qualified in 18th before making it to the B final where she took the last spot.

Sargent's Dartmouth teammate and USST B-team member Rossie Brennan also qualified for the heats and finished 17th. Sophia Caldwell made it three in the top 30 with her 26th place finish. Caldwell qualified an impressive 6th, but was unable to advance out of the quarterfinals.

Alexa Turzian was the final American, finishing 66th.

The Canadians also qualified three for the heats – Marlis Kromm led the way in 20th, Alysson Marshall was 25th after snatching the last qualifying spot, and Heidi Widmer took 29th.

Stephanie Drolet was the final Canadian in 69th.

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