Skier gets 'confidence booster'

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

Elisa Kurylowicz' topsy turvy season has taken a definite turn for the better this weekend. At a World Cup moguls event in Sauze D'Oulx, Italy, the Manotick freestyle skier finished fifth, matching a career best in a World Cup singles final. Kurylowicz accomplished the feat while skiing with a respiratory infection.

She barely qualified for the final.

"It was an up and down week," said Kurylowicz, 23, who won her first World Cup event a year ago, taking the dual moguls gold in Fernie, B.C. "I was just trying to hang on when I qualified 13th." It's kind of a nice relief because I've been struggling to get into the top five, but this gives me a little bit of a confidence booster."

Her previous best finish this season was sixth, at the season opening event in December in France.

The result -- which came on the course where the 2006 Turin Olympics will be held -- all but assured Kurylowicz a Canadian team spot for the world freestyle championships March 16-20 in Finland.

Also in good shape there is Ottawa aerials specialist Jeff Bean, who ranked second behind North Bay's Steve Omischl in qualifying points heading into this weekend. The top four get to fly high at Ruku.

ON GUARD FOR GOLD: The Ottawa Sirius Guards are enjoying a golden season. Last weekend, the major midget girls' basketball team brought home championship honours from the Cornwall invitational tourney. The Guards dumped the host Cornwall Lions 53-44 in the final, with Ottawa's Alyson Bush being named most valuable player. Earlier in the tourney, the Guards recorded wins over the Barrhaven Blue Devils, Express du Nord and Hawkesbury Selects. The Guards also were champs at the Chris Pauline tournament in Kanata.

COOKIE CUTTERS: The Nakkertok Ski Club holds its popular junior championships next Saturday at the Nakkertok Nordic Centre's south course near Cantley. Open to skiers of all abilities from age 3-19, the event has long been known as the "Cookie Race." That's because every participant gets a medal-shaped cookie after they're done. Racing begins at 11 a.m. For more info, log onto www.nakkertok.ca.

AROUND THE AMATEUR SCENE: Ottawa fencer Sherraine MacKay finished 19th in women's epee at a World Cup Grand Prix event yesterday in Tauberbischofscheim, Germany ... Ottawa St. Anthony's Soccer Club has a pair of entries in the Ontario Indoor Cup competition, which continues this weekend in Vaughan. The St. Anthony's Scorpions are chasing the Under-17 boys' crown, while another club side is also entered in the Under-14 boys' division ... The Eastern Ontario STARskate Invitational Championship wraps up today at the Nepean Sportsplex. Competition begins at 9 a.m.

rob.brodie@ott.sunpub.com


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