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Jeffrey Frisch captures men's downhill title at national ski championships

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LE MASSIF, Que - Jeffrey Frisch reclaimed the men's downhill title at the Pontiac GMC Canadian ski championships Thursday.

The native of Mont-Tremblant, Que., who won the title in 2006, finished in one minute 25.36 seconds.

"The thing that I am really happy about is I was really struggling all year with my downhill," said Frisch, the super-G national champion in 2007. "My giant slalom skiing got a lot better in the past year as I have trained a lot in the GS. I trained a lot in the technical disciplines this season and I think that is helping me now in the downhill."

Kelby Halbert of Bradford, Ont., was second today in 1:25.62 while Louis-Pierre Helie of Berthierville, Que., this year's overall champion on the Nor-Am Cup developmental circuit, was third in 1:25.79.

"I am happy I am top three but I wanted to win," said Helie, who started ninth. "It was a little softer when I went because the sun was starting to melt the track a little."

The men's downhill was the first race of championships, which continue until March 24. World Cup medallists Erik Guay and Genevieve Simard are slated to compete later in the competition though some of Canada's other top ski racers are skipping the event.

Larisa Yurkiw of Owen Sound, Ont., finished first in training for Friday's women's downhill in 1:27.44 while Emilie Desforges of Montreal was second in 1:28.28 and Shona Rubens of Canmore, Alta., was third in 1:28.89.

The race also served as the national junior championship with Ashley-Kate Durham of Mont-Tremblant, Que., posting the best junior time of 1:29.82. She placed fourth overall.

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