Mt. Washington Ski Club took five racers to Prince George to compete at the Teck U16 B.C. championships: Calvin Cotton and Kole Harle (Mount Washington), Liam Gilchrist (Nanaimo), Maja Nymann (Campbell River) and Keegan McCooey (Cumberland).
“The drive to Prince George didn’t seem that long,” commented one of the racers. “We brought this new video game and played the whole way there.” Now that is one way to combat the fatigue of such a long trip. Thanks goes to the head coach John Trimmer who spent the time behind the wheel.
This event was a qualifier for many future events, so the pressure was high for the athletes. There were six different races: Super G, where the gates are farther apart and the speed is higher; Giant Slalom, where the gates are medium distance apart; and Slalom, where the gates are closer together and the turns are more technical.
The first two events were Super G. Both of these races were a one-run result. Skiers were given an opportunity to inspect the course, and then they had one run to show how fast they could get through it. The Mount Washington racers placed: Maja 25th and 17th, Keegan 32nd and 32nd, Kole 8th and 14th, Liam 14th and 11th, Calvin 49th and 47th.
The third and fourth events were two Giant Slalom races. Again, racers were allowed to inspect the course and then given one opportunity to race it. The racers from the Island skied it very aggressively and the results were: Maja 23rd and 17th, Keegan 18th and 18th, Kole won bronze and 9th, Liam 6th and did not finish (DNF), Calvin DNF and 31st.
The fifth and sixth events were Slalom. Each one of these results were a combination of two races. After an inspection, racers sped through the course for their first result. The course was then reset, follow by an inspection, and then another race. The final result was a combination of both race times: Maja won gold and silver, Keegan 18th and 19th, Kole won bronze and 6th, Liam DNF and 24th, and Calvin 30th and 31st.
Four of the five racers are also members of Podium of Life Snow Sports Academy. These students will be back up on Mount Washington, continuing to hone their racing skills as part of their daily school curriculum.
“It is great that they can get courses done on the road through eBlend, a distance learning program out of SD72. It takes a lot of maturity for these students to navigate their school in a couple weeks,” said Podium of Life co-founder Shane Harle.
– Podium of Life Snow Sports Academy