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Hollingsworth wins national skeleton championship

"Winning today is nice, but it's not my main focus. My sliding has been inconsistent this year, so my goal was to have four consistent runs, which I was able to do so I'm very happy."
- Mellisa Hollingsworth, National champion

Calgary – Mellisa Hollingsworth and Jon Montgomery held off a cluster of teammates loaded with Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medals, to emerge as national titleholders at the national skeleton championsip on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Hollingsworth, who has won medals in all major international skeleton events around the world during her 12-year career including a bronze at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy, added a second national title to her mantle after sliding to the golden spot on the podium with a four run combined time of three minutes 50.75 seconds. Her first title came in 1996 as a national team rookie.

“Winning today is nice, but it was not my main focus. My sliding has been inconsistent this year so my goal was to have four consistent runs, which I was able to do so I’m very happy,” said the Eckville native, who currently sits in third in the Overall World Cup standings.

Hollingsworth, who captured a World Cup silver medal the last time she slid on the Calgary track in November, trailed World Cup comrade Michelle Kelly after the first run, but sprung into the lead after posting a personal best time in the second head on Saturday night and never looked back.

Michelle Kelly, of Fort St. John B.C., who is the overall World Cup leader with two gold’s and one silver medal in her first three races this year, slid into second spot behind Hollingsworth with a time of 3:51.36.

Calgary’s Lindsay Alcock hung on to third place at 3:51.64”.

Meanwhile, Montgomery chalked up another triumph in what is already developed into a stellar sophomore season on the national team. The 28-year-old Russell, Man., native has one bronze and one silver medal in his opening three World Cup races, also lovked up his second Canadian title after a sea-saw affair with Olympian Paul Boehm.

The lead flip flopped back-and-forth between the Canadian duo after each heat. Trailing heading into the final head, Montgomery took a perfect line to the winner’s circle in his final run.

“It feels good to be able to win with all of the best athlestes in Canada in the field,” said Montgomery, who clocked a time of 3:44.83, and sits in second spot in the Overall World season now with a Canadian Championship win.”

Calgary’s Boehm settled for silver after finishing .02 seconds behind Montgomery on Sunday at 3:44.85.

Olympic silver medalist, Jeff Pain, rounded out the men’s podium in third at 3:45.39.

Canadian Press

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