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Friday, May. 24, 2019
Local skier ready to tackle next ski-cross challenge
by Randy Pascal

Having conquered the Ontario Cup circuit in what was, more or less, her first year in ski-cross, Sudbury native Lexi Ransom is ready to take the next step - or jump and leap, more appropriately.

After capturing the provincial title in 2016-2017 despite missing her final race of the season due to injury, the 19 year old second year Bio-Medical Biology student at Laurentian University is now looking to broaden the scope of her racing experience.

Ransom will head to Sunridge (Alberta) from January 12th to the 14th, competing in the 2018 Western Ski Cross Series, a FIS (Federation International de Ski) sanctioned event that kicks off a very busy eight week stretch for the long-time Sudbury alpine ski talent who now trains out of North Bay.

"I need to compete against more people and on an Olympic size track to get a better idea of what I need to work on," said Ransom last week. "I'm familiar with my line from alpine racing, that's an easy one for me, but I need to practice landings jumps."

Given the seasonality of the sport, not to mention the fact that Northern Ontario ski hills do not come all that close to replicating the bulk of the venues that Ransom and her fellow competitors will tackle, the graduate of Lockerby Composite spends a great deal of time on dryland training.

"I'm at the gym, almost every day, doing dryland, weightlifting and cardio," she said. "I definitely work my legs, it's a lot of shock absorption when you're landing, and back and chest, because you have to pull yourself hard out of the (starting) gate."

As for readying for the course, itself, that she is about the face in tackling the Rockies, Ransom mixes in both pre-arrival and post-arrival preparation. "We do a course inspection when we get there, going slowly over with the coaches," she explained.

"I like to watch people before I go, to see how they do the jumps. And sometimes they post, on the internet, a virtual model of the course, and I can look at those, and also at past courses. That's helpful."

The shoulder injury that derailed the tail-end of last season also meant that Ransom was forced to pass on an invitation to spend some time training with the national team last year, an opportunity she hopes to re-visit this March.

Still, after spending the bulk of her youth travelling across the province and elsewhere following her alpine ski dreams, Ransom knows the time has come to strike a healthy balance. "I want to see how I do in Alberta, but I am also very serious about my schooling," she said.

"I love the Sciences." Even those, apparently, that measure the inertia involved in flying down a hill, at break-neck speed, and launching one-self off a mounted jump while racing three fellow competitors to the bottom of the hill.

Such is the adrenaline rush that drives a ski-cross racer.

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