There was a tight Canadian squeeze on the podium in the U14 men's slalom at the Whistler Cup on Saturday.
Team BC took the top two spots with Sun Peaks' Liam Applegath winning and Whistler Mountain Ski Club's (WMSC) Nathan Romanin taking the silver. Applegath cruised to the win with a combined time of one minute, 16.68 seconds (1:16.68), besting Romanin by over two seconds. Japan's Shunosuke Takada took third.
Conditions were icy in the morning but softened for the second run.
Applegath, in his second Whistler Cup, explained he wasn't feeling optimal leading into today's action, battling back problems in a season where he's taken on his fair share of illness and injury. He noted he did some extra stretching before heading out, but it eventually came down to mind over matter.
"You have nothing really on your mind except for the course and what you'd like to do," Applegath noted, adding he was grateful to his coaches, parents and friends for helping make the day a success. "I didn't really think about the results, I just thought about the terrain and skiing it."
Romanin, also in his second, was just off a medal in Friday's dual slalom, finishing fourth. With a feeling he could hang with the big dogs, he shook off a tough first run to surge from 11th to his podium finish.
"I pulled it together second run," he said. "I was really tired in the morning, wasn't really ready. In the second run, I gave it my all."
Ontarians Jesse Holland and Moro Bamber, Quebec's Felix Boivin and Banff's Sean McCulloch all hit the top 10.
As for the U16s, WMSC's Asher Jordan, representing Canada, placed fourth, just ahead of fellow Team Canada member Gavin Donald. Alberta's Kelvin Cochrane and Canadians Zach Mayne and Jamie Casselman and Albertan Liam Haynes all made the top 10. Norway's Mikkel Solbakken won his second race in as many days ahead of countryman Markus Fossland. Japan's Hiroto Hasebe was third.
The ladies, meanwhile, raced the giant slalom.
Canadian Catherine Dufresne was third in the U16 event and was the only Canadian to make the top 10, trailing winner Nikola Bubakova of the Czech Republic and Elvedina Muzaferija of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As for the U14 competitors, Quebec's Olivia Carrier was fourth, WMSC's Gigi Kranjc sixth, Lake Louise's Avery Lebsack seventh, Ontario's Charlie Comeau eighth and WMSC's Maja Woolley, representing BC, 10th.
Racing wraps up Sunday with the men taking on the giant slalom and the ladies the slalom. Live streaming and full results are available at www.whistlercup.com.