Morning Star Staff
Kevin Hill continued his hot streak in Quebec.
The Vernon athlete won the Canadian snowboard cross championship at the Sport Chek Speed Nationals Wednesday at Ski Chantecler, an hour outside Montreal.
Hill, 29, defeated fellow national team member Chris Robanske of Calgary in the four-man big final.
“Today was a great way to finish off my season on top of the podium at Canadian nationals,” said Hill. “Conditions were not ideal, they were pretty icy, so I made sure I had good starts and things turned out well.”
Americans finished third and fourth in the big final.
Evan Bichon of Prince George won the four-man small final.
It’s the second national title for the 2014 Olympian, who placed eighth overall in Sochi, Russia (second in the small final), and first since 2010.
Hill entered the national finals off a silver medal finish at a World Cup event in Spain. He pocketed $6,100.
He qualified for the top-32 at Chantecler before advancing to the big final by placing top-four in the quarter- and semifinals.
“I’m going to take a break now,” laughed Hill, when asked what was next on his calendar.
“I’ve been on the road for about six weeks. I hope to go somewhere warm to train and maybe do some surfing.”
Hill thanked his sponsors, Rancho Vignola, Silver Star Mountain Resort, Muscle MLK, Oakley and Kessler Snowboards, for their year-long support.
Hill started snowboarding at age 19. He loved the speed and airtime and the thrill of competing.
A former world-cailbre BMX racer, Hill does some racing during the off-season with his entire family. He also enjoys cliff jumping, downhill mountain biking, surfing and wakeboarding.
Vernon’s Curt Minard is also at Ski Chantecler competing in Para snowboard cross.
The former national amputee hockey team World Champion, who lost his left hand, amputated at the wrist, in an industrial accident in Invermere in 2008, made his event debut last month in snowboard cross and bank slalom at the International Paralympic Committee’s Nor-Am Cup and World Cup races last month at Kelowna’s Big White mountain.
Minard won gold at the Nor-Am Cup in snowboard cross and bank slalom.
In the World Cup events, he finished top-10 in all three, coming sixth and seventh in two snowboard cross events and sixth in the slalom.