Cultus Lake’s Reece Howden (right) led from start to finish in the big final at Innichen, Italy, claiming first place for the first time during the 2022-23 World Cup ski cross season. (Fédération internationale de ski photo)

Cultus Lake’s Reece Howden (right) led from start to finish in the big final at Innichen, Italy, claiming first place for the first time during the 2022-23 World Cup ski cross season. (Fédération internationale de ski photo)

Cultus Lake athlete flying high through first month of ski cross season

Reece Howden sits atop the World Cup standings after a pair of podium placements in Italy

Reece Howden is rediscovering the form that made him the top ski cross athlete in the world two years ago.

Three podium placements in December have rocked the Cultus Lake product to the top of the World Cup leaderboard. The Crystal Globe winner from 2020-21 has 301 points in five races. His closest rival, Austrian Mathias Graf, has 279. German Florian Wilmsmann is third with 181.

His most recent outing in Innichen, Italy saw the 24-year-old win his first race of the season on Dec. 22 and finish second in another on Dec. 21.

RELATED: Cultus Lake’s Reece Howden captures coveted Crystal Globe as World Cup ski cross champ

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Howden led wire to wire in his no-doubt win, leaving Rio Sugai (Japan), Niklas Bachsleitner (Germany) and Simone Deromedis (Italy) in the dust.

He collected his first podium placement Dec. 12, finishing second at a race in Arosa, Switzerland, and he continues his Crystal Globe chase Jan. 20-22 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden.

There’s still plenty of racing to go between now and the end of the FIS (Fédération internationale de ski) season in April. During his championship season Howden had four first place finishes and six podium placements, racking up 711 points.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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