Racing for the first time since surgery last winter

Racing for the first time since surgery last winter

Kelsey Serwa 5th at Nakiska

After off-season of rehab from second knee operation, the Kelowna racer performs well at first World Cup ski cross event of season

Kelsey Serwa is back.

In her first World Cup ski cross race since returning from a second knee surgery last season, the 24-year-old Kelowna native posted a solid fifth-overall finish on Saturday at Nakiska.

Serwa, who came into the week unsure whether she would race, won her first heat and then edged out teammate Georgia Simmerling, of West Vancouver in the quarter-final. In the semifinal she got stuck at the back of a stacked heat and was eliminated. However, she made a superb pass to win the small final to seal a strong return from injury.

“I felt really good about my race today. In my first race back from knee surgery I couldn’t ask for more,” said Serwa, the 2011 world champion and X Games gold medallist. “I messed up the start a few times and that got me but apart from that I’m really happy. The knee held up great. Having Brady and Marielle on the podium is great. We couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.”

Canadian ski cross coach Eric Archer liked what he saw from Serwa.

“Kelsey was awesome,” he said. “I don’t know if she expected it but we did. She put in the work and she trained hard and did the extra things she thought she needed mentally and it was great for her to get back in there and win that small final. We’re going to have to do this every week to reclaim the Nations’ Cup as the No. 1 team on the World Cup circuit. It’s going to be a fun winter.”

Serwa’s Canadian teammate, Marielle Thompson, won gold in the women’s race.

Next up for Serwa and Canada’s ski cross team is a World Cup race in Val Thorens, France, on Dec. 14 and 15.

Kelowna Capital News

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