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Gairns qualifies 14th, P.G.'s Rowell misses cut in World Cup men's qualifying at Nakiska

Races Friday and Saturday livestreamed on www.cbcsports.ca starting at 11:15 a.m. both days

Seven of the 16 women who qualified for Friday’s World Cup ski cross race at Nakiska, Alta., hold Canadian passports.

Tiana Gairns is one of them.

The 23-year-old from Prince George qualified 14th quickest on the Nakisa course Thursday. The former Prince George Alpine Team member was 2.70 seconds behind pace-setter Sandra Naeslund of Sweden, who completed the course in 1:13.21.

A logjam of Canadians locked up the next five qualifying spots behind Naeslund.

Brittany Phelan of St. Agathe des Monts, Que., was second, 19-100ths of a second behind Naeslund, while Marielle Thompson of Whistler was third (+0.51), followed by India Sherritt of Cranbrook (+1.15) and Hannah Schmidt of Ottawa (+1.18).

Races are set for Friday and Saturday.

In Friday's quarterfinal heat, the third of the day, Gairns is paired with Thompson, a three-time Crystal Globe points champion and 2014 Olympic gold medalist; Fanny Smith of Switzerland, who has 61 World Cup podium finishes as the most decorated athlete in the history of the sport; and Alexandra Edebo of Sweden.

Other Canadian women who made the top-16 cut were Courtney Hoffos of Invermere (12, +2.38), and Zoe Chore of Cranbrook (15th, +2.73).

Kiersten Vincett of Galahad, Alta., 25th, +6.58), Alexa Velcic of Calgary (25th, +8.09) and Sage Stefani of Rossland (27th, +8.86) missed the top-16 cut.

In men’s qualifying, Erik Mobaerg of Sweden set the bar with a time of 1:09.62, followed by Reece Howden of Cultus Lake (+0.41) and third-place Sebastien Midol of France (+0.62).

The top 32 men advance and four other Canadians made it, including Brady Leman of Calgary (16th, +1.18), Kristofor Mahler of Canmore, Alta., (19th, +1.25). Kevin Drury of Toronto (20th, +1.26) and Carson Cook of Edmonton (26th, +1.59).

Gavin Rowell of Prince George finished 46th out of 56 skiers, 2.66 seconds behind Mobaerg.

Other Canadians who missed the qualifying standard were Chris Del Bosco of Montreal (40th, +2.33), Zach Belczk of Banff (43rd, 2.49), Jared Schmidt of Ottawa (44th, +2.57), Callum McEwan of St. Albert, Alta. (50th, +3.45), Ryan Webster of Calgary (51st, +3.86), Phil Tremblay of Calgary (52nd, +3.95) and Zac Reynolds of Lac St. Marie, Que.(53rd, +4.64).

This is the final event for athletes to qualify for their respective Olympic teams. The races Friday and Saturday are closed to spectators due to the pandemic, but will be livestreamed on www.cbcsports.ca beginning at 11:15 a.m. PT.