Jane Channell and Blake Enzie Team Up for Sixth in World Cup Skeleton Competition

Hallie Clark leads five Canucks with 11th-place finish in individual races

ST. MORITZ, Sui.—Canada’s Jane Channell and Blake Enzie combined for a sixth-place finish at the inaugural World Cup skeleton team competition on Friday in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The Canadian duo combined one run each to clock a time of 2:24.23 in an epic battle on the only non-refrigerated track in the world.

“Together we did really well,” said Channell. “The team race is always a blast. You don’t want to let down your teammate so that always adds another dimension and dynamic to racing. There was some stiff competition today, but we are really happy with how we did.”

Disappointed with her individual race earlier in the day, it was sweet redemption for the 35-year-old Channell (North Vancouver) who threw down one of her best runs of the year to clock the fifth-fastest women’s time of 1:12.90 down the stunning 1,700-metres of natural ice that winds its way to the finish in the town of Celerina.

“I really wanted to lay down a solid run for Blake,” she added. “We didn’t have an opportunity to test the timing system before the race, so I had to rely on my old track and field days, being a sprinter with the first steps out of the block being the best part off my races.

Channell’s 22-year-old Olympic teammate, Blake Enzie, also mixed together a solid push and clean run. The Calgarian posted the 10th fastest time for the men to secure the Canucks a position in the top-six.

“I got a little unlucky with the draw in the men’s race but had some good redemption in the team event. It was really nice to be able to perform with Jane,” said Enzie, after laying down a heater of a run.

The Italian team of Amedo Bagnis and Valentina Margaglio took top spot on the team competition podium with a time of 2:22.11. Germany’s Felix Keisinger and Susanne Kreher locked up second spot at 2:23.00 while Jacqueline Pfeifer and Felix Seibel, also of Germany, snagged the bronze medal in a time of 2:23.77.

Calgary’s World Cup rookie, David Park (Calgary), and Hallie Clarke (Brighton, Ont.) also competed in the team event, finishing 15th at 2:26.49.

The 19-year-old Clarke was the top Canuck in the individual races earlier in the day. Clarke slid to 11th spot in the 33-sled field, clocking a two-run time of 2:20.38 down the famed track.

“St. Moritz is a special place for me and such a great way to start the New Year,” said Clarke, who achieved a personal best finish on the stunning piece of natural ice. “The team race was also such a fun experience. It felt like our whole team really came together this week to support each other and the team event was a nice way to show that off. I’m looking forward to continuing to build on this energy into the rest of the year.”

Jane Channell chalked up top-five start times in both of the individual race heats but dropped to 17th overall (2:20.94). Calgary’s Grace Dafoe made her World Cup debut in St. Moritz – a dream realized after developing her way through the Canadian system over the last 12 years. Dafoe placed 25th with a total time of 2:22.84.

Neither of the two Canadian men qualified for a second run with the top-25 in the individual event. Blake Enzie slid to 26th, while David Park was 31st in his first ever World Cup start.

Italy’s Amedeo Bagnis won the men’s race with a time of 2:14.07.

The World Cup continues on Saturday in St. Moritz with bobsleigh action.

Complete Team Competition Skeleton Results:

Complete Women’s Skeleton Results:

Complete Men’s Skeleton Results: