Dean Moriarity may have entered the 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice Downhill World Championships in the shadow of fellow countryman Scott Croxall, but he proved Friday afternoon that he can cast a rather lengthy shadow of his own. Moriarity trailed last season’s winner, Marco Dallago, by nearly eight tenths of a second after the first run, but then burst out of the gate on his second opportunity to a time of 42.40, tops for the International Shootout qualifiers.
Moriarity is proving at just 19-years-old that he is a serious threat to take this competition. The Quebec native has also shown that he excels in all aspects of his life, studying aeronautical engineering when not working and training. He is a great skater, with incredible agility and balance, and will be one to keep close watch on during the competition. Dean’s brother, Dylan, also advanced on to the elimination round this afternoon.
The 2014 St. Paul winner, Marco Dallago, also moved on in the competition. He was leading after the first round, but finished second overall. His first round time of 42.49 was quite impressive and he already looks in mid-season form. Marco’s brother Luca come in fourth, just four tenths of a second behind his brother.
Croxall, who finished second in last year’s event, came in third in the qualifiers, also posting his best time during his second run, coming in with a time of 42.64. The Canadian is still looking for his first Crashed Ice title and he, too, is in prime form to make a move on this track. The 1400 foot track seems made for Croxall.
Reed Whiting is the top American qualifier, finishing with the fifth best time (42.91). Whiting is considered one of the best American challengers, so it was no surprise to see him score so high in the International Shootout qualifier. Fellow American hopeful Cameron Naasz finished the qualifier in tenth, but had two very solid times of 43.92 and 43.36. He finished in third in last year’s competition.
Overall, the Canadians sent ten competitors through from the International Shootout qualifier onto the elimination round. That was the most of any country. The United States was second with six qualifiers. The Swiss and Finnish each had four, and France and Austria added two.
These top automatically advanced to tomorrow’s finals. Those who finished in spots 33-64 will join the 32 from last night’s North American Shootout for the elimination round, which will take place Friday afternoon.
By Robert Pannier