AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty - Buchholz/@fisfreestyle
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty - Buchholz/@fisfreestyle

Weekend Roundup: First World Cup win for McEachran, top 5 for Grenier in Vermont

Team Canada athletes were on ice and snow across the globe over the weekend.

Freeskier Evan McEachran had a big career breakthrough in Europe, while Valérie Grenier led the way as the alpine skiing World Cup circuit arrived in North America.

Plus, some of Team Canada’s brightest stars from the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games have a chance to win one more prize, with a little help from their fans.

Here’s what you need to know:

Freestyle Skiing: First career World Cup win for McEachran

Evan McEachran took gold at the first ski slopestyle World Cup stop of the season in Stubai, Austria. While it was his sixth career World Cup podium, it was the first ever World Cup victory for the 26-year-old. He posted the highest score (93.00) in the qualification round, which stood up for the win after the finals were cancelled due to severe winds and heavy snow in the forecast.

READ: First career gold for Evan McEachran at ski slopestyle World Cup opener

Alpine Skiing: Grenier claims Canada’s best result in Killington

Valérie Grenier finished fifth in Saturday’s women’s giant slalom race at the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Killington, Vermont. It is her fourth straight top-seven finish dating back to the end of last season. Grenier had been in seventh place after the first run before moving up two spots. She ended up 0.63 of a second out of a podium position. This is Grenier’s seventh career top-five finish on the World Cup circuit, five of which have come in giant slalom.

Britt Richardson was the only other Canadian to finish both giant slalom runs. She placed 22nd, tying her career-best World Cup result. Next week, Grenier and Richardson will be among the Canadian women competing in giant slalom on home snow at the first alpine skiing World Cup race in Tremblant, Quebec in 40 years.

The top Canadian in Sunday’s slalom race was Ali Nullmeyer who placed 13th, one spot ahead of reigning world champion Laurence St-Germain.

Figure Skating: Five Canadian teams qualify for Grand Prix Final

At the final stop of the ISU Grand Prix series, two Canadian teams recorded seventh place finishes — Kelly Ann Laurin & Loucas Ethier in the pairs event and Marie-Jade Lauriault & Romain Le Gac in ice dance.

With the six-stop series now complete, the qualifiers for the ISU Grand Prix Final taking place December 7-10 in Beijing, China are confirmed.

  • Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier do a victory lap with the Canadian flag
  • Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen wear silver medals on the podium
  • Zachary Lagha swings Marjorie Lajoie by her legs in a stationary lift
  • Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps wave to the crowd from the kiss and cry
  • Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud perform a pairs figure skating lift

Canada can boast three of the six ice dance duos. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who won last year’s Final, topped this year’s standings with two victories and the highest scores recorded. Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Soerensen are headed to their second straight Grand Prix Final while Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha have qualified for their first senior Grand Prix Final. Both teams won two silver medals.

Two of the six qualified pairs are Canadian. Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps are first in the standings after two wins with the highest scores of the series. This will be their second straight trip to the Grand Prix Final. In just the second season of their partnership, Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud qualified in third place with one gold and one silver medal

Cross-Country Skiing: Top 25s at World Cup opener

Canadian cross-country skiers kicked off their FIS World Cup circuit in Ruka, Finland over the weekend.

In the men’s classic sprint on Friday, Graham Ritchie and Antoine Cyr advanced to the quarterfinal heats and placed 23rd and 24th, respectively.

Katherine Stewart-Jones followed up her 25th-place finish in the women’s 10km classic on Saturday with a 22nd-place result in the women’s 20km mass start free on Sunday.

The team will now head to the next World Cup stop this coming weekend in Gällivare, Sweden.

Biathlon: Gow and Lunder crack top 15 in mixed relay

At the season opening stop of the IBU World Cup, Christian Gow and Emma Lunder finished 15th in the single mixed relay on Saturday in Oestersund, Sweden. A little later in the day, Adam Runnalls, Trevor Kiers, Benita Peiffer and Nadia Moser placed 18th in the 4x6km mixed relay.

After a couple days off, competition will resume in Oestersund on Wednesday and continue into the weekend.

Panam Sports Awards: Vote for Team Canada’s nominated athletes!

Four Canadians are up for more prizes after their great their performances at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games — and Team Canada fans can help them win. Voting is open for the Panam Sports Awards until December 5. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Miami on December 9.

Hammer throw gold medallist Ethan Katzberg is nominated for Best Male Athlete after setting a Pan Am Games record in the final.

Swimmer Maggie Mac Neil, who became the first Canadian athlete to ever win five gold medals at one edition of the Pan Am Games, is nominated for Best Female Athlete.

Badminton player Brian Yang is up for the Male Cali 2021 Legacy Award after following up his two gold medals at the inaugural Junior Pan Am Games with a gold in the men’s singles event in Santiago.

Taekwondo athlete Skylar Park is a nominee for the Changemaker Award. After winning her gold medal, she and her brothers visited a local taekwondo school where they provided free lessons to the children.