Sarah Reid credits her strong start to the 2012-13 skeleton season to sliding on familiar tracks close to home.
The Calgary native earned her second medal of the season Friday, taking silver at a World Cup event in Whistler. Reid finished in a two-run time of one minute 51.09 seconds, while Marion Thees of Germany grabbed the gold medal in 1:50.92.
Great Britain's Elizabeth Yarnold took the bronze in 1:51.17.
"I am really excited. Coming into this race I wanted to put some pressure on myself so I set some high goals," Reid said. "It is nice to touch the podium in Whistler."
Two weeks ago, Reid and teammate Melissa Hollingsworth finished one-two at the season opener Lake Placid.
This is easily Reid's most successful stretch on the World Cup circuit. She finished fourth in her first ever World Cup race in Nagano, Japan in 2007, but hadn't had a top-5 finish since prior to this season.
"Having the first few World Cups in North America is a good way to kick off the season and get in our comfort zone," Reid said. "This track is really technical but it's the smoothest ice you'll ever slide in your life."
Other Canadians just miss podium
Rookie Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon, Man., finished fourth while Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., placed fifth.
In just the third World Cup race of her career, Hawrysh showed she is a contender on the elite circuit. Hawrysh, a former varsity athlete, played volleyball at the University of Windsor and ran track at the University of Regina. She discovered the sport of skeleton after making a spontaneous move to Calgary in 2009.
"I knew that this sport and I really clicked. To be able to stand up with the best girls in the world and race, is exactly where I want to be," Hawrysh said.
After winning 10 medals in 11 starts in 2011-12 while competing on the America's Cup and Europa Cup circuits, Hawrysh earned a spot on Canada's World Cup squad this fall.
"Fourth again after three races isn't frustrating for me. Being able to do the North American tracks first this year is a huge advantage for me," Hawrysh said.
Two-time overall World Cup champion Hollingsworth had a tough day, dropping to fifth despite winning the silver medal at the season-opener in Lake Placid, N.Y.
"I did not have good runs today and you just can't make mistakes on this track," Hollingsworth said. "Sliding on your head is hard enough let alone having a massive head cold. I am just grateful this isn't the Olympic Games and I'm feeling this way."
The results moved Thees up the season's standings to first place with 609 points. Katie Uhlaender of the United States, who won last week's event in Park City, Utah, is second with 577 points and Reid is third with 571 points. Hollingsworth currently sits in fifth while Hawrysh is seventh.