For The Morning Star
As spring madness in the ski racing world fell onto the Vernon Ski Club, many of their athletes spread out in different directions in North America claiming medals and personal best performances.
For the K1 team in the 11-12-year-old category, it all heated up at Mt. Washington for the provincial championships. Amelia Smart finished with four gold medals and one silver.
Always pushing the limits was Ravi Vliet taking home two top-10 finishes and a bronze medal in Slalom. Also skiing fast at the event was Katie MacGillivray and Katrina Van Soest achieving their personal bests. All four girls made selection to the International Children’s competition called Whistler Cup, in its 19th year.
Smart claimed a silver medal in the Kombi, a fifth in GS and sixth in Slalom, while Vliet recorded a ninth-place finish in the Giant Slalom.
The whole K1 team competed at the zone finals at Big White with several great top-10 performances in the slalom. Smart earned a silver, Katie MacGillivray had a seventh, Holly Clancy was ninth and Christopher Richardson 10th.
Vliet bagged a silver while teammate Katrina Van Soest had a fourth in the head to head dual slalom. In the boys, rookies Jaden Parsons and Kazuki Comley took fourth and fifth respectively.
The next age category, 13–14-year-old racers known as K2, hit the road as well with provincials at Panorama Resort.
Rookie Matt Kreutz had a performance that earned him a spot on the B.C. team at the K2 Nationals to be later held at Collingwood, Ont. He raced to a fifth and 13th in Giant Slalom and a fifth and 12th result in Slalom. Just off the top-10 was Alex Roehrig with an 11th-place Giant Slalom result, and Jules Youngberg with a 14th-place Slalom showing.
The K2 team went on to Jasper for the Westerns and Noemie Petit pocketed a silver and had an eighth. Scout McWilliams posted a personal best placing 15th in the Slalom, while Roehrig took a sixth and eighth in Giant Slalom and Jules Youngberg missed the top-10 in Slalom by 2/10th of a second.
At the zone finals, it was a showdown for the K2’s. In the slalom, McWilliams posted a fifth and Mayumi Comely stunned the crowd with her attacking performance and finished eighth.
On the boys side, it was a third, fourth and fifth between Kreutz, Roehrig and Youngberg respectively. In the dual slalom, the order flipped with Roehrig edging Youngberg and Kreutz. In the K2 girls, Siobhan Clancy turned everything upside down and took her first gold. McWilliams took silver and Hannah Paracholski was seventh.
Meanwhile, the Vernon Ski Cub was presented a prestigious award for “Event of the Year” from B.C .Alpine Ski Association last Friday at the annual AGM and Awards Banquet.
The fastest 11- and 12-year-old ski racers in Western Canada converged on Silver Star from Feb 18-20. A total of 170 athletes from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan competed in three events: Giant Slalom on Friday, Slalom on Saturday and Kombi on Sunday.
The Giant Slalom was held on Milky Way making it easy to watch this amazing competition from the village, Comet Express and Summit chairlifts. The Kombi course combined both GS and Slalom elements, but for the first time Skier Cross features were added to the challenge.
“Our Kombi course has set the standard for this event in Canada, which significantly led to the event of the year award” said Vernon Ski Club Program Director John Armstrong. “Numerous days went into planning and building this course and the Vernon Ski Club was charged up to put this event on.”
Spectators watched racers take the speed jump above the finish line at the Main Street crossing at Big Dipper.