Mount Washington Ski Club took five racers to Apex to compete in the U16 CanAms – Maja Nymann, Keegan McCooey, Calvin Cotton, Kole Harle, and Liam Gilchrist. This event hosted the best 15- and 16-year-olds from Western Canada and some from the Northwest United States.
The first day was scheduled to be slalom for both boys and girls. But a storm blew in and the girls’ race was postponed while the boys’ race was held in blustery conditions. Cotton could not race due to an injury. Harle was having a great run, when he wiped out 10 gates from the finish. Gilchrist also had some mishaps, but completed both runs. He did finish, after hiking a few gates, which is a pretty big accomplishment.
After the first day of storms, the weather cooperated and all the scheduled events were run.
In the girls’ slalom McCooey missed a gate. Although Maja did not finish strong overall, her second run was the fastest. Nymann, of Campbell River, who goes to school on Mount Washington at Podium of Life Snow Sports Academy at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, posted the fastest time in Western Canada. After her first run in slalom, where she had to hike, she started 63rd. Then she put on a show. She posted the fastest time in the second run, which is astonishing with such a late start.
In Super G, where the gates are farther apart and with less aggressive turns, the Island racers fared well. Harle finished 16th, Gilchrist 46th, McCooey 45th, and Nymann 49th. This is the fastest event, where skiers speed approaches 80-100 km/h.
There were two different Giant Slalom races for both boys and girls. The courses were set with very challenging turns over undulating terrain. And there were a lot of wipe outs.
Harle broke the top 10 in both events, with a sixth and 10th place finish. Gilchrist finished 23rd and did not finish the other. Nymann raced to a 12th and 19th place finish. McCooey earned a 37th and 40th placing.
The next race for these skiers is the Whistler Cup April 3.
– Podium of Life Snowsports Academy