Chad Coates got down and dirty in Kansas over the weekend.
The local rider took part in the Dirty Kanza 200, a 200-mile (320-kilometre) gravel-grinding race based in Emporia, a town located about 60 miles (96 kilometres) from Topeka.
Heavy rain in the area caused mucky conditions on race day, with Coates saying even the top riders tacked on two hours to their average times.
In a field where less than half the riders finished, Coates was 101st out of 390 men, finishing in a time of 16 hours, two minutes and 59 seconds (16:02:59).
"We had to walk for miles through mud because it was unrideable," he said. "You're riding in pasture land, a dirt track, and when it rains, it turns into mud that just clogs everything.
"It was definitely hard. I expected it to be pretty challenging because 200 miles (320 km) on a gravel road is going to be a hard day no matter what, but it was pretty cool for sure."
Another challenge was the fairly hilly course on which participants rode, as Coates said there was 2,743 metres of climbing over the day, which would be at odds with the flat prairie stereotype.
While Coates didn't meet his original objective going into the day, he's still thrilled to have completed the race on a day when more than half did not.
"A good goal is to finish while it's still light out," he said. "If it hadn't have been so tough, I probably would have been pretty good. I probably would have been in at about 14 hours."
CFSA hands out high-performance awards
Two local skiers were honoured by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association (CFSA) after posting solid performances this season.
Whistler's Simon d'Artois received the most outstanding performance of the year award for the halfpipe discipline after a year in which he won superpipe gold at the X Games, becoming the first Canadian man to accomplish the feat. Melissa Corbo (aerials), Alex Bellemarre (slopestyle) and Mikael Kingsbury, Philippe Marquis and Marc-Antoine Gagnon (moguls) received the other awards.
Whistler resident Cassie Sharpe, who is originally from Comox, received the female high performance rookie of the year award after winning an FIS World Cup competition and FIS World Championship silver in halfpipe. Aerialist Lewis Irving won the men's award.
The major awards, for male and female athlete of the year, went to moguls skiers Kingsbury and Justine Dufour-Lapointe, respectively.
This marks the first time the CFSA has honoured its athletes in such a way, and came as a result of the partnership forged with Difference Capital on CBC's Dragons' Den.
WSS girls ninth at provincials
The Whistler Secondary School (WSS) Storm girls' soccer team won more games than it lost at the BC Provincials A Tournament, but the squad still finished in the middle of the pack.
The Storm posted a 3-1-1 record overall to finish ninth out of 16 teams at the tournament in South Surrey from May 28 to 30.
Sydney Lovell-Schmidt Skylar Lovell-Schmidt, Olga Thornevik, Gabe Velenosi and Mimi McClean all won game MVP honours for the Storm over the course of the tournament. As well, Emily Nakajima received the Commissioner's 11 Award, which is presented to a player from each team "who exemplifies commitment, leadership, and fine play," head coach Ian van Gruen explained in an email.
He said the squad's quartet of graduating players will be missed.
"This year marks the end of high-school play for (G)rade 12 students Kate Vogler, Gabe Velenosi, Siobhan van Gruen and Emily Nakajima," he said.
"These (four) players have been leaders within the team for a number of years and will be missed when the WSS Storm regroups next spring to ready for another year of high-school soccer."
Pemby BMX riders strong in Nanaimo
Pemberton BMX was well represented with 17 riders attending the Harbour City Nationals in Nanaimo from May 29 to 31.
In the triple-points portion of the event, Christopher Beaton picked up gold in the 12 intermediate division.
Several riders picked up second-place finishes, like Tiger Lily Noble in the 13 novice, Turner Montgomery in 41-45 intermediate and Sam Tierney in 7 novice. Others hit the podium in third, including Noble, Sam Tierney, Ian Tierney in 41-45 intermediate, Tegan Cruz in 9 expert and Lucas Cruz in 13 expert.
In the double-points portion, Lucas Cruz won the 13 and over race and 14 expert races, Bendigo Noble was second in 15 expert as was Tiger Lily Noble in 13 novice and Erin Tierney was second in 36-40 women's cruiser. Third-place finishes went to Tegan Cruz (11-12 open), Sam Tierney, Graydon Petrie (11 intermediate), Steve Petrie (41-45 intermediate) and Sean Tribe (46-50 cruiser).
Youngster Levi Cruz also posted a second-place in the half-track event.
Robbie Tribe, Lochlun Warren and Rebecca Beaton also represented the club well at the event.
Full results are available at www.usabmx.com.