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Teck U16 Westerns Championships at Panorama Mountain Resort
Race Report by Laura and Hubert Lai
Photos by Dee Dee Lai
Last weekend, the 2019 Westerns Championships were hosted at Panorama Mountain Resort by the Windermere Valley Ski Club. As always, thanks are due to the organizers, coaches, and volunteers for their hard work putting together a great event. Huge thanks are also due to Teck for sponsoring this exciting race series.
The event took place over the course of 3 days, with the team dual slalom on Friday, March 1, the giant slalom on Saturday, March 2, and the slalom on Sunday, March 3.
Windermere did a great job with the events, even in the face of very difficult conditions. Morning temperatures were in the range of -30 to -25 degrees Celsius. Even in the afternoons, the temperatures were only slightly less frigid, with the daytime highs never making it above -15 until late on Sunday.
On the bright side, the consistently low temperatures produced excellent racing conditions, with firm, consistent courses for the athletes.
In total, 70 women and 63 men took part as U16 athletes. The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) was represented by 7 women and 6 men in the field.
Team Dual Slalom (Friday):
The team dual slalom was a lot of fun for the athletes. The organizers assembled teams of 4 racers, with each team made up of 2 racers from Alberta clubs and 2 racers from B.C. clubs. This gave the athletes a great chance to mix, mingle, and enjoy the company of fellow racers from all over the West as they worked their way through the elimination tree. Each team was named in honour of a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. At the end of the day, Ali Nullmeyer’s team took first place, with Christina Lustenberger’s team in second and Stephanie Gartner’s team in third. WMSC was represented by Mats Bosinger on Christina Lustenberger’s team and by Johnny Nicolls on Stephanie Gartner’s team.
Women’s Giant Slalom (Saturday):
On Saturday, Panorama athletes Jamie Verhun and Sarah Shephard showed everyone else the way down their home course, taking the top two podium places in the women’s giant slalom. Jasper athlete, Skylar Shepherd, rounded out the podium in third. In a very competitive field, WMSC athletes were shut out of the top 10, with Isabella Cross and Dee Dee Lai producing the best finishes for the club in 28th and 31st, respectively.
Men’s Giant Slalom (Saturday):
The Panorama men were not able to replicate the results of their women teammates. The top place on the men’s podium went to Kananaskis athlete, Gered Thompson. Grouse athlete, Dylan Stevens, took second place and Sunshine athlete, Nathan Sylvestre, rounded out the podium. Three WMSC men achieved top 10 results: Johnny Nicolls in 6th; Sam Fuller in 7th, and Sascha Gilbert in 10th.
Women’s Slalom (Sunday):
Sunday’s slalom course was tough, with only 52 of the 70 starters managing to set times. Calgary Alpine athlete, Sara Paradis, jumped to the top of the podium, ahead of Panorama athletes, Jamie Verhun in 2nd and Sarah Shephard in 3rd. Despite the tough course, all of the WMSC women completed the course successfully, with two of them making it into the top 10: Isabella Cross in 5thand Meagan Doiron in 6th.
Men’s Slalom (Sunday):
The men had an equally tough time with the slalom course, with only 44 of the 63 starters managing to set times. The top place on the men’s podium went to Calgary Alpine athlete, Thomas Binley-Ewing. Kananaskis athlete, Cody Goddard took second place and Snow Valley athlete, Bredy Shears, rounded out the podium. Three WMSC men achieved top 10 results: Johnny Nicolls in 6th; Hayden Harley in 8th; and Duncan Ross in 9th.
Teamship Values – Excellence in Behaviour
As we head into the latter stages of the season and the real nuts and bolts of the competition phase I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss our Teamship Values. Over the next several weeks I will circulate discussion points on each of the 4 values, beginning this week with Excellence in Behaviour. Athletes, please take the time to read these emails; parents please take the time to review them with your children.
We Excel in Behaviour: Behaviour is the core of who we are as a team and reflects on our club, our community, our sport and our country. The fundamental characteristic of WMSC Behaviour is respect.
• We Respect Others: We always treat others as we would want to be treated. We consider the impact of our actions on others. We give full attention in meetings and respect the rights of others to be left alone.
Respect for others defines who we are and what we stand for. It is very easy to get drawn into feeling that we know better than others, that others are not giving us the respect that we deserve or to get caught up in our challenges and not consider those that others have. We all need to choose the higher road and be aware of each other.
• We Respect Feedback: We give, and accept, all feedback – both positive and constructive – with good grace.
Our sport, and life in general, presents many challenges, which will result in mistakes and failures as well as accomplishments and learnings. In order to learn and develop, we must try, accept that we will sometimes fail, and recognize that this process is essential and must be respected. For many of us this is often a challenge, but the ability to both accept and give positive reinforcement and constructive criticism, be it sensory, verbal or visual is the hallmark of all great athletes.
• We Respect Equipment: We care for all of our and other’s equipment. We seek permission before using and promptly return, anyone else’s equipment.
Our sport requires equipment that is both extensive and expensive and the condition of that equipment impacts enormously on the outcomes. We must take the time to learn how to prepare and maintain our equipment and ensure that we follow-through so that our training efforts are not frustrated by a lack of preparation. This respect must extend to the Club’s facilities and equipment, including the Club Cabin, the Garbo Hut, the Dave Murray Training Centre, our home mountain of Whistler Blackcomb and the Clubs, Mountains and hotels that we visit.
• We Respect Time: We are on time for meetings, sessions and departures. 5 minutes before start is on time. If held up we inform the organizer as soon as possible.
“Time is of the essence” in our sport, both literally and figuratively. It is all too easy to reach for the lazy excuse that “I didn’t have time” but more often than not this just means: “I didn’t make the time”. We must budget our time wisely and not waste it. Each athlete must commit the required time to their development model in order to achieve the goals that they have defined. We must always respect the time of others, and value their time at least as highly as we do our own.
• We Respect Effort: We congratulate effort even if it results in better performance than yours. We act compassionately towards those whose performance is below their expectations.
“It’s better to try and fail, than to fail to try”. This statement underpins the very notion of being a champion in life and in sport and is the foundation of the other components of Excellence in Behaviour. If we do not respect the efforts of others, they will not recognise our efforts and help us to our feet when we try and fail. If we do not give constructive feedback to others on their efforts and seek honest feedback for ours, if we do not give 100%, or if we do not properly prepare and maintain our equipment and if we do not commit the required time to the development model, we will never know what we are truly capable of.
It is an honour to be a part of this team and to be associated with so many great people who continually strive for Excellence in Behaviour.
Whistler Mountain Ski Club
In total, 44 U16 athletes took part in last weekend’s Teck Enquist Slalom races, which were hosted at Mount Seymour on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24. The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) was well represented, with 9 women and 8 men in the field.
Mount Seymour was blessed with fresh snow the night before Race 1. The drive up the mountain was long, with many cars unprepared for the road conditions. Once everyone arrived at the mountain, there were many happy faces, as the snow and temperatures were much more pleasant than the minus 20 degree temperatures they had experienced at Kimberley a couple of weeks earlier.
As always, thanks are due to the organizers, coaches, and volunteers for their hard work putting together a great event. Huge thanks are also due to Teck for sponsoring this exciting race series.
The Mount Seymour event consisted of a total of 2 slalom races for each of the men and the women. The races were dominated by WMSC and Grouse athletes, who locked all of the other clubs out of the podium positions.
Women’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
On Saturday, the women faced a tough course, with 6 of the 22 starters failing to post times. Sadly, 3 of those 6 non-finishers were WMSC athletes. Out of the 16 women who successfully completed both of their runs, 6 were WMSC athletes with 5 of them finishing in the top 10: Isabella Cross won the race, with Amanda Miller in 4th, Dee Dee Lai in 5th with a career best finish, Bella Bay in 7th, and Laura Keogh in 10th. Grouse athletes Katarina Kaludjercic and Mila Plavsic rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Women’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
On Sunday, the course was even more challenging, with 7 of the 22 starters failing to post times. Sadly, all 7 of those non-finishers were WMSC athletes. It was a tough day for the club – out of the 15 women who successfully completed both of their runs, only 2 were WMSC athletes: Dee Dee Lai came in 7th and Laura Keogh came in 9th. Grouse athletes swept the podium, with Mila Plavsic, Katarina Kaludjercic, and Nicola Fretenburg taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively.
Men’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
On Saturday, the men ran the same tough course that the women had, with the same number of athletes failing to post times: 6 of the 22. Fortunately, only 1 of those 6 non-finishers were WMSC athletes. Out of the 16 men who successfully completed both of their runs, 7 were WMSC athletes with 5 of them finishing in the top 10: John Nicolls came in 2nd, with Sascha Gilbert in 5th, Duncan Ross in 6th, Sam Fuller in 7th, and Kian Gottfried in 10th. Grouse athletes Dylan Stevens and Cameron Seward rounded out the podium in 1st and 3rd, respectively.
Men’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
On Sunday, the men had a little more success than then women, with 5 of the 22 starters failing to post times. Only 2 of those 5 non-finishers were WMSC athletes. Out of the 17 men who successfully completed both of their runs, 6 were WMSC athletes with 5 of them finishing in the top 10. Hayden Harley took a spectacular win, with a winning margin of over a second. The other WMSC men with top 10 finishes were: Duncan Ross in 6th, Sam Fuller in 7th, Logan Sadan in 8th, Ambrose Deck Stang in 10th. Grouse athletes Cameron Seward and Markus Cordy-Simpson rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The U14s had a great weekend of racing, too. The competition in this age category was fierce, with a large field of 46 women and 38 men giving it their all as they navigated the challenging course configurations.
Women’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
WMSC women were dominant on Saturday, with 5 racers placing in the top 10. 1st place was secured by WMSC’s Alexa Brownlie, who was followed closely by teammate Erin Husken in 2nd. Gaia Fameli (Cypress) took 3rd. Other WMSC racers who were in the top 10 with strong finishes were Isabelle Bexton in 5th, Sarah-Elizabeth Whalen in 6th, and Ella Kaufmann in 10th.
Women’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
Sunday’s podium featured the same racers as on Saturday, and in the same sequence: Alexa Brownlie came in 1st, Erin Husken was in 2nd place, and Gaia Fameli finished 3rd. This was a nail-bitingly close race, as teammates Brownlie and Husken crossed the finish line fewer than 0.1 seconds apart! Consistency was the theme amongst the other top 10 finishers from WMSC, who just like Saturday were Isabelle Bexton, Sarah-Elizabeth Whalen, and Ella Kaufmann, this time finishing 6th, 9th, and 10th respectively.
Men’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
Felix Shorter (WMSC) was in a class of his own on Saturday, finishing more than 3 seconds ahead of his 2nd place teammate, Jack Thomas. Rounding out the podium in 3rd was Graeme Eder (Grouse). There were two other WMSC athletes in the top 10: Alec Waldrum came in 6th, and Dylan Boyd finished in 10th.
Men’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
Felix Shorter owned 1st place on Sunday, with an impressively convincing victory that was more than 2.5 seconds ahead of Grouse’s Graeme Eder, who came in 2nd. Milan Novak joined his teammate Shorter on the podium with his 3rd place finish. Three other WMSC competitors placed in the top 10, with Jack Thomas in 4th, Alec Waldrum in 7th, and Joseph Gibbons in 10th.
After two days of hard and exciting slalom racing, the overall winners of Enquist were WMSC’s Alexa Brownlie (U14) and Cameron Seward (U16) of Grouse. Congratulations to all!
Race Report by Laura and Hubert Lai
Photos by Laura Lai
U12’s had their first big race of the season this weekend (February 23/24) with the Tyee Cup held on Grouse Mountain.
It was a full two days of racing consisting of four separate events: GS, kinder kombi, stubbie slalom and slalom. The powder was falling all day Saturday creating some challenging conditions for the GS but the U12’s battled the elements and their bib numbers for some impressive racing. On Sunday the skies opened up for a glorious day of racing stubbie slalom and slalom with sunshine and smiles to finish the event.
The field was large with 174 athletes comprised of 79 girls and 94 boys from all over the zone including Grouse, Cypress, Seymour, Hemlock and Mt Washington, and WMSC was well represented with 18 girls and 16 boys competing.
Coaches Mat, Alexi, Kasper, Kayla, Zack, Roman and Joel kept the kids organized and focused for their races. Coach Matt commended the kids on their preparedness and how it showed: “their hard word paid off and the kids skied their best; some who didn’t get top 10 but skied better than they ever have.” The U12’s put in a team effort with great sportsmanship all round and “good support with kids bringing down each other jackets and cheering everyone on.”
In Saturday morning ladies GS Marlowe Cook took the gold with teammates Lara Markthaler 2nd, Nicole Webb 5th, Hannah Neeves 7th, Thea Torn 8th and Sophie Neeves in 10th. On the men’s side it was Thomas Legg with gold, Maxim Akbulatov silver, Dreas Gibbons 4th and George Sarkis 5th.
In the afternoon it was the kinder kombi, with Lara Markthaler winning gold, followed by Thea Torn 3rd, Hannah Jensen 4th, Nicole Webb 5th, Brooke Bessie 8th and Thea Lutz 10th. For the boys it was Thomas Legg with gold, Seth Robert 3rd, Dreas Gibbons 6th, Kingsley Parkhill 7th, George Sarkis 8th, Owen Staniforth 9th and Graydyn Swanson 10th.
On Sunday in the stubbie slalom, for the girls it was Lara Markthaler in 1st, Thea Torn in 3rd, Hannah Jensen 5th, Thea Lutz 7th and Brooke Bessie 8th. For the boys Kingsley Parkhill was 2nd, Dreas Gibbons 3rd, Graydyn Swanson 4th, Marek Novak 8th and Kekai Chalmers 9th.
The final event was the slalom on Sunday afternoon. Once again it was Lara Markthaler with the gold followed by Marlowe Cook with silver and Nicole Webb with bronze, Thea Torn 4th, Thea Lutz 7th and Hannah Jensen 8th. For the mens’ slalom Thomas Legg won gold and Dreas Gibbons silver, Kingsley Parkhill 4th, Seth Robert 5th, Graydyn Swanson 6th and Ryan Perron 9th.
The Tyee Cup winners were determined by the best of three of four race results and WMSC brought the Cup back to Whistler with Lara Markthaler and Thomas Legg the male and female overall champions.
Way to go U12 racers!!
Thanks to Mike Nelson for all the photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikenelson/albums/72157707143251444
It’s Safety Net Set Time Again – 40th Annual Parsons Memorial Race
Please join us at 9:00 a.m. Sunday March 3rd for the safety net set for the upcoming Parsons Memorial Race. While some nets remain in place from the BC Cup FIS Races, more netting is required. With lots of volunteers, the work will be completed in a few hours. Please come out and ensure a safe training and racing environment for all our athletes.
Volunteers Needed for the 40th Annual Parsons Memorial Race – March 7-10, 2019
Please come out and volunteer for one of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club’s longest running races! The Bob Parsons Memorial race is named in memory of the late Bob Parsons. Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, he began skiing in the late 1940s with his older brother Stan. They both raced on Hollyburn and Seymour Mountains, competing in jumping, nordic and downhill skiing.
The Parsons family became members of the Whistler Mtn Ski Club in the late 60s. As the Parsons children became involved in ski racing, Bob traveled from race to race helping in course preparation and setup. He formed and led the infamous Weasel Workers who were named after the Weasel section of the downhill. Bob Parsons was committed to junior ski racing and saw the need for junior skiers to have the opportunity to race downhill. This race has been held on the Whistler Back Bowl, Dave Murray Downhill, Green Acres, Blackcomb Panorama/Cloud Nine and the Dave Murray National Training centre (Raven/Ptarmigan).
Jim Parsons (current WMSC U16 coach) was the winner of the first memorial DH in 1980 followed closely by Rob Lahti (current Hemlock coach), and Chris Leighton (Parsons) is the administrator at WMSC.
This season’s race is March 7-10, 2019 on the Dave Murray National Training Centre on Raven Ptarmigan. Please come out and lend a hand at this historic race. Volunteers are especially needed on Saturday and Sunday (March 9 and 10). It’s a great opportunity to gain some experience at a Super G and Alpine Combined race.
Email Abbie to sign up – firstname.lastname@example.org