Nathan Romanin kicked off his fourth Mackenzie Investments Whistler Cup festival in style.
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) member, representing Team BC, picked up a third-place finish in the opening U16 super-G on Thursday to lead the local contingent.
Slogging through warm conditions, Romanin wasn't undone by a late start, finishing behind only Norway's Fredrik Willumsen Haug and Canada 1's Raphael Lessard.
"Starting back at 44th, it was a big surprise to come down and see that I was in third," the Squamish resident said. "The course conditions weren't exactly holding up, so that was cool.
"The guys were racing the same course as the girls, so the course was already pretty rutty by the time the guys started. It was pretty even the whole way through, but it was a lot of pressure starting that far back."
Now a veteran, Romanin explained he feels a little more comfortable each and every year.
"It's always a great experience and every year I'm striving for good results," he said. "Each year, there are less nerves and it's a fun time."
Romanin made a few mistakes in Friday's giant slalom and did not finish, but is hoping to come back strong in Saturday's slalom event. The U14 men will complete the giant slalom and the U14 women will do the dual slalom.
In Thursday's race, John Daniel of Canada 2 was eighth and Logan Dunn of Alberta 1 was ninth. On the women's side, Canada 1's Cassidy Gray was just a hundredth of a second off the podium in fourth while WMSC member Gigi Kranjc, representing Slovenia, was fifth. Tora Hoshizaki and Kiara Alexander, both of Canada 1, were eighth and ninth, respectively. Switzerland's Selina Egloff took the win, edging a pair of Norwegians in Ine Haugland and Malin Sofie Sund.
On Friday, Egloff also captured the giant slalom, with fellow Swiss racer Aline Hoepli and Hoshizaki joining her on the podium. Fellow Canadian Alyssa Hill was fourth and Gray ended up 10th. As for the men, Switzerland's Callum Cant scored the win, sharing the podium with Chile's Diego Holscher in second and Norway's Andreas Amdahl and Canadian Lessard tying for third. Fellow Canuck Caedan Carruthers ended up in 10th.
The U14 women completed the slalom, with Argentina's Sofia Lehmann earning the win over Hungary's Noa Szollos and Ontario 1's Tessa Foote. Canadians in the top 10 included: BC 2's Abigail King (fifth), Ontario 1's Cadence Kiss (sixth), WMSC 1's Kaila Lafreniere (eighth) and Ontario 2's Maxine Van Strein (10th).
The U14 men, meanwhile, completed the dual slalom, with Japan's Shuto Ichimura taking the win over BC 2's Taylor Nellis in the big final. Heming Sola took the small final with over Cameron Seward in a battle of BC 1 stars. Meanwhile, a number of Canadians made the quarterfinal, with BC 2's Clayton Dent, Ontario 2's James Gatcliffe and a pair of Ontario 1 racers in Aleksas Valadka and Christopher Burnes making it that far.