WMSC U16 Female Team Swept the podium at Kimberley Teck Open Series
Race Report by Laura and Hubert Lai
114 athletes took part in last weekend’s Teck Open races, which were hosted at Kimberley on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10. The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) was well represented, with 8 women and 14 men in the field.
Race conditions were firm and the weather was extremely cold throughout the weekend. The low temperatures challenged all the racers, coaches, and volunteers. Many people had frostbite and were using tape on their face to block the wind.
Originally, the organizers had hoped to run slalom races under the lights but the extreme weather conditions made this difficult so, in the end, the
Kimberley event consisted of a total of 2 Super G races for each of the men and the women.
Women’s Super G Race 1 (Saturday):
On Saturday, WMSC athletes comprised 8 of the 50 women who successfully completed the Super G race. It was a stupendous showing for the WMSC women, with four of them finishing in the top 10: Emeline Bennett won the race, with Jaden Dawson and Sara Stiel completing a sweep of the podium. Fiona McInnes came in 5th.
Women’s Super G Race 2 (Sunday):
Sunday was another truly outstanding showing for the WMSC women, with four of them finishing in the top 10: Once again, Emeline Bennett won the race, with Jaden Dawson and Sara Stiel completing a sweep of the podium. Fiona McInnes improved one position for her Saturday result, finishing just off the podium in 4th. What incredible results for these talented and hard-working athletes!
As with all the athletes, double-race-winner Emeline Bennett certainly noticed the cold: “It was hard to feel like your muscles were completely ready because of either not warming up for long enough because it’s cold or staying inside too long be cause it’s cold!”
When asked about the secret to her success, Emeline was graciously modest: “During the week I go to the gym up to four times and then usually only train Saturday and Sunday but I try to get some extra Thursdays and Fridays in, whenever I can. I chug a lot of water before warm up. I don’t usually have two pairs of skis so I like to do some runs on the ones I will race on and I do a lot of visualization and usually take the maximum time for inspection. I have no clue in Super G. It’s my tuck for sure and, other than that, I don’t know!”
Men’s Super G Race 1 (Saturday):
On Saturday, WMSC athletes comprised 14 of the 53 men who successfully completed the Super G race. While the victory went to Grouse athlete, Taylor Nellis, WMSC men crushed the field, with 7 of them finishing in the top 10: Graham Seltzer and Sam Fuller took 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Just off the podium was Matthias Shorter in 4th. Rounding out the WMSC men who achieved top 10 finishes were Adam Usher in 5th, David Wood in 6th, Hayden Harley, in 7th, and Nick Katrusiak in 10th.
Men’s Super G Race 2 (Sunday):
On Sunday, WMSC men were dominant, securing five out of the top 10 places. This time, a WMSC man took the victory, with Graham Seltzer securing the top spot. Grouse athlete, Taylor Nellis, who had won the Super G on Saturday, swapped places with Graham, coming in 2nd on Sunday. Apex athlete, Heming Sola, rounded out the podium in 3rd. WMSC men took the next 4 places, with John Nicolls in 4th, Hayden Harley in 5th, Adam Usher in 6th, and Matthias Shorter in 7th.
Race winner, Graham Seltzer, observed, “This weekend, the line was extremely important. Many people who ski well but do not have the correct line will not be fast. In inspection, you need to find the right line and commit to it unless a coach tells you otherwise on a course report.” He added, “I had two good inspections with good advice from coaches and concentrated on executing my plan.”
He was very pleased with his results, especially because he does not live in Whistler and isn’t able to train regularly on Thursdays and Fridays.
Speaking of the Grouse competitor with whom he swapped positions, Graham was very complimentary, saying, “In the speed event I think Taylor Nellis is the largest competition for everyone particularly on a straight course like both of these ones. This is because he is a pretty big guy and mostly goes straight.”