Splawinski makes big splash as McGill wins first combined ski title in 19 years

News

 

STONEHAM, Que. - Sophie Splawinski of Montreal, won gold in a giant slalom and silver in the slalom to capture the individual championship and lead the McGill alpine ski team to the Quebec university overall title, Sunday, at Stoneham Mountain Resort, located about 25 kilometres north of Quebec City.

 

It marked McGill's first ski title since 2005 when the Martlets finished first overall but the team's first combined men's and women's title since 1991. It was only the fourth time in 22 years that the overall champion did not win either the men's or women's banner. McGill, which place second in both the men's and women's divisions, finished atop the combined standings

 

Splawinski, a 24-year-old atmospheric science freshman, who previously graduated from Penn State University, was first of 39 racers who competed over the season. She became the third woman in QSSF history to reach the podium in all 10 races over the season, matching the feat achieved by Montreal's Claudine Pomerleau in 1996 and equaled in 1998 by Kimberly Bonnell of Bishop's.

 

"Winning the individual title was a goal that I wanted to accomplish but it got completely overshadowed by winning the (overall) banner," said Splawinski, who was a member of the Canadian national team at the age of 17.

 

"Winning the banner is something we share as a team, something that we have been dreaming about and training for all season. Right from the start, we knew we had a chance to win it all and we took every race as another step toward that goal. To end up achieving it was really wonderful."

 

Splawinski finished second and third in the season-opening slaloms at St. Sauveur (Jan. 22-23), won gold in both giant slaloms at Mt. Sutton (Feb. 6-7), swept both giant slaloms at Le Massif (Feb. 13-14), placed third and second in the two slaloms at Le Relais (Feb. 27-28) and won gold and silvers medals in the final competitions of the season at Stoneham (March 19-20).

 

Splawinski finished first of 39 women with 1,150 points overall, culled from her top eight performances. Marie-Michel Belanger of the Montreal Carabins was second with 985, followed by Concordia's Amélie Lemelin (945). Other McGill Martlets in the final Top 10 individual standings were Kate van Berkom (tied for sixth) of Ottawa and Madeleine de Lotbiniere-Basset (ninth) of Delta, B.C.

 

On the men's side, Laval swept all three podium spots in race for the individual championship. Simon Mannella finished first of 58 competitors in the final standings with 1,200 points, followed by Philippe Crete-Belzile (1,000) and Pierre-Nicolas Tanguay (940). McGill's top racer was Michel-Olivier Saucier, a native of Vaudreuil-sur-le-lac, Que., who tied for fourth (800). He was accompanied by four Redmen teammates in the top 12, including Christian Vining (sixth) of Montreal, Eli Sheiner (eighth) of Ottawa, Alexander Moon (10th) of Chelsea, Que, and Andrew Quinn (12th) of Winchester, Mass..

 

McGill finished first of five teams to win the overall title with 10,044 points, finishing ahead of Laval (9,778), Montreal (9,373), Concordia (4,057) and UQAM (2,312).

 

In the women's standings, Montreal prevailed as Quebec champions with 5,560 points, followed by McGill (5,258), Laval (3,117), Concordia (2,125) and UQAM (725).

 

In the men's division, Laval won the championship banner with 6,661, followed by McGill (4,786), Montreal (3,813), Concordia (1,932) and UQAM (1,587).

 

QSSF Alpine Ski Champions by Season

 

Combined

Women

Men

2010

McGill

Montréal

Laval

2009

Laval

Montréal

Laval

2008

Montréal

Montréal

Montréal

2007

Montréal

Montréal

Montréal

2006

Montréal

Montréal

Montréal

2005

Montréal

McGill

Montréal

2004

Montréal

McGill

Montréal

2003

Montréal

McGill

Montréal

2002

Montréal

McGill

Montréal

2001

Montréal

McGill

Montréal

2000

Montréal

McGill

Montréal

1999

Bishop's

Bishop's

Bishop's

1998

Bishop's

Bishop's

Bishop's

1997

Montréal

Montréal

McGill

1996

Montréal

Montréal

Montréal

1995

Montréal

Montréal

UQAM

1994

Laval

Laval

UQAM

1993

Laval

McGill

UQAM

1992

Laval

McGill

UQAM

1991

McGill

Concordia

Montréal

1990

Montréal

Concordia

Montréal

1989

Concordia

Concordia

Concordia

1988

(no combined title)

Concordia

UQAM

1987

(no combined title)

Laval

UQAM

1986

(no combined title)

(not available)

(not available)

1985

(no combined title)

(not available)

(not available)

1984

(no combined title)

(not available)

(not available)

1983

(no combined title)

Concordia

McGill

1982

(no combined title)

Sherbrooke

Laval

1981

(no combined title)

Sherbrooke

McGill

1980

(no combined title)

McGill

McGill

 

SOURCE:

Earl Zukerman

Communications Officer

Athletics & Recreation

McGill University

514-398-7012 (Tel.)