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Canadians sweep frigid moguls at Tremblant; Bahrke third, Westerlund second

Canadians sweep frigid moguls at Tremblant; Bahrke third, Westerlund second{mosimage}The mogul competition at Mont Tremblant January 10 was an uncommon World Cup event. For one thing, it was uncommonly cold, officially -16 F. according to the result sheet.

The Canadian hosts, perhaps embracing the notion of hailing from “The Great White North,” won both the men’s and women’s mogul events, something they haven’t done since … well, in an uncommonly long time. Also unusual: Kari Traa did not qualify for finals. That’s happened just twice since 1998.

Winning the men’s event was Marc Andre Moreau, a 22-year-old Quebec native. His best previous mogul result was a fourth, in Steamboat a year ago. He might have been a bit more excited than he appeared as he’d been sick all week.

Taking the women’s event was Stephanie St. Pierre, and yes, for her too, it was the first World Cup mogul win. It was also the lowest winning women’s score since 1998. Like we said, it was an odd day.

“I know I had a gold medal last year, (she won the dual mogul World Cup at Fernie last season), but that was in duals,” St. Pierre said. “This win is the biggest thing of my life and it happened with my family here and the sun shining.”

Second for the men was American Luke Westerlund, who said three runs was the maximum he could take before heading inside to get warm. Thinking speed, perhaps just to get inside faster, Westerlund said, “I was pretty much out of control on the bottom. I slowed down just before the bottom air but still was going faster than I expected,” he said. “I was happy just to land and ski to the end.”

Picking up third was Finn Tapio Luusua who duplicated his result at Mont Tremblant a season ago.

Right behind St. Pierre was teammate Jennifer Heil, who edged Shannon Bahrke for the runner-up spot. “It’s amazing,” said Heil, 20. “We’re getting to show every weekend that we’re getting better and better.”

“It was rough training and it’s been so cold my body just doesn’t like it,” said Bahrke. (Friday, in training) I was just about to cry. But I had good training (Saturday), did my backflip-cross up-top — it was pretty good — but it was too cold to do my D-spin [off-axis, 720-rotation], so I did a heli off the bottom.”

“It was brutal weather,” said U.S. head coach Jeff Wintersteen. “Overall, it was a good day for us.”

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