Brandonite Cassie Hawrysh’s World Cup rookie season finale in Sochi, Russia left her hungry to return in a year’s time.
The 28-year-old Neelin high school graduate finished in 16th place in her ninth and final race on the World Cup skeleton tour on Saturday at the Sochi track that will be the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Racing on the Olympic track has fueled her fire to qualify for the Winter Games next year.
“In terms of learning and preparing for Sochi 2014, I’d much rather get two less-than-desirable runs out of the way now,” Hawrysh said in a message from overseas.
Hawrysh raced to a combined two-run time of two minutes, 1.71 seconds, finishing 2.80 seconds behind winner Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States.
Despite not cracking the top 10 in her final race, Hawrysh did place in the top 10 overall this season. Hawrysh finished ranked eighth on the World Cup tour, an impressive performance in her first year on the world’s top circuit.
“My overall emotion is pleased, as this was indeed an incredible rookie season for sure,” she said. “Eighth in the world, absolutely!”
Russell’s Jon Montgomery, the 33-year-old reigning Olympic gold medallist, closed out his season with a 12th-place finish in Sochi on Friday, and finished ranked 10th on the World Cup tour.
Hawrysh and Montgomery now return to Calgary, where the national team is based, and begin training for their Olympic qualifying season.
» Brandon Sun