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Prince George skiers miss podium at World Cup

Tiana Gairns and Gavin Rowell placed 13th and 29th at the World Cup ski cross on Friday in Ontario.
Gavin Rowell of Prince George was 29th Friday in a World Cup ski cross race in Collingwood, Ont. The 23-year-old will be back on the slopes Saturday morning to race in the World Cup Final.

Racing on Canadian snow at Friday’s World Cup ski cross Friday in Collingwood, Ont., Tiana Gairns  of Prince George was unable to duplicate her bronze-medal success from the previous week and finished 13th.

But it was still a great day for Gairns’ Canadian teammates, who gave the 24-year-old plenty to cheer about in Friday’s race.

Three Canadian women qualified for the big final, but none were able to outrace World Cup points leader Fanny Smith of Switzerland, who cruised to gold with a scintillating run of 49.90 seconds.

Courtney Hoffos of Invermere took silver (50.28) and Marielle Thompson of Whistler (50.47) won bronze. Hannah Schmidt of Ottawa was fourth.

An unprecedented eight Canadian women made the top-16 cut in qualifying. In Frerriday’s race, India Shet of Kimberley was seventh, followed by Antoinette Tansley of Calgary (ninth), Brittany Phelan of Mount Tremblant, Que. (10th) and Abby McEwen of Edmonton (12th).

In the men’s race, Reece Howden solidified his grip on the points championship with a gold-medal finish (47.63), edging silver medalist Florian Helmsmann of Germany and third-place Duplessis Kergomard Youri of France.

Gavin Rowell of Prince George, 23, was 29th.

Other Canadian finishes were as follows: 8. Brady Leman of Calgary; 10. Kristofor Mahler, Canmore; 11. Carson Cook, Edmonton; 14. Kevin Drury, Toronto; 19. Jared Schmidt, Ottawa; 24. Zach Belczyk, Banff.

The World Cup Final race is set for Saturday morning at Collingwood. The races will be streamed live.

The men’s race starts at 7:45 a.m. PT, followed by the women at 10:30 a.m. PT

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