The top K2 skiers from west of Winnipeg headed to Marmot Basin in Jasper, Alberta for the K2 Westerns recently, then on to the President's Choice K2 Canadian Championships at Silver Star Mountain Resort.
Results from both events were taken into account by coaches selecting teams to represent Canada and the B.C. Team at this weekend's Whistler Cup international juvenile ski races. Athletes selected benefit from some additional coaching by national and provincial level coaches, including a camp taking place in Whistler this week, as well as better start positions in Whistler Cup races. Start positions are key, as there can be upwards of 100 skiers in each category.
Eleven Whistler Mountain Ski Club athletes headed to Jasper to compete in slalom, giant slalom, super G and super combined races, and were on the podium at ever race.
Logan Pehota made the podium in all five medal races against a field of 67 racers, earning two gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze medal. Blake Ramsden won two gold medals, one silver medal and a bronze medal, finishing fourth in one event. Brodie Seger placed fifth, seventh and eighth in races, Dais Wong was fifth and 10 th , Kyle Gardiner seventh and 10 th , Sloan Sainas eighth and Kyle Yates 10 th .
On the women's side, where 52 racers took part, Sofi Leroux earned two gold medals in super G, as well as a bronze in slalom, fifth place in super combined and ninth in giant slalom. Elianne Taillefer earned a bronze medal and was fourth, sixth and seventh, and Morgan Taylor was fifth eighth and 10 th .
In the overall, Logan Pehota and Blake Ramsden were first and second, while Sofi Leroux was second for the girls.
A few days later eight WMSC athletes headed to the President's Choice K2 Canadian Championships at Silver Star Mountain Resort, joining a field of 91 men and 82 ladies.
Birttany Lathrop from Vermont won the women's super combined race, but the Whistler Mountain Ski Club's Kailee Darlington hung in for second place overall and the national title after winning the super G run. She was on pace to put down the fastest time, but then got caught up in a gate in the slalom portion. Also cracking the top-30 was Rae Swette, in 25 th place.
In the men's super G, Lincoln Esau of Ontario was first, followed by Francois Lacroix of Quebec and Mackie Logan of the U.S. No Whistler skiers made the top 30.
In the women's super G, Emma King was the top WMSC racer, in 14 th place, with Charley Field 27 th . Darlington was a DNF in that race after a crash where she fractured her arm.
In the men's super combined, Whistler's Broderick Thompson placed second behind American Logan Mackie, but first among Canadians where he had the second-fastest super G run of the day, followed by the fastest slalom run. Francois Toutant and Erik Mortveit from Quebec were second and third.
"I had a stellar super G run but only a decent slalom run," said Thompson, referring to the overall rankings. "I wasn't able to get the gold precisely because my slalom run wasn't as aggressive as it could have been. I got pushed around in the ruts and should have pushed more."
In the giant slalom the WMSC struggled again, with skiers from Quebec, Ontario and Alberta taking the top spots. John McIver was the top WMSC skier, finishing 29 th . In the women's competition Kailee Darlington raced with her injured arm and placed sixth. Emma King was 27 th .
Rae Swette was the top Whistler skier in the slalom, in 18 th place, with Sofi Leroux just missing the top-30. Darlington did not compete.
Broderick Thompson won the silver medal and placed second among Canadians in the men's event. John McIver was 13 th .
Overall, Broderick Thompson placed third among men, and Kailee Darlington was eighth among women.
Following the nationals the K2 team representing Canada at the Whistler Cup was announced. Kailee Darlington and Broderick Thompson made the cut for Whistler this year.
More Whistler athletes will be representing the B.C. Ski Team, with Charley Field, Rae Swette and Sofi Leroux on the women's K2 team and Matthew Segal, John McIver, Blake Ramsden and Logan Pehota on the men's team.
The K1 (age 11 and 12) teams representing Canada and B.C. were also announced. From the WMSC, Kelly Steeves and Rachel Vanderveen made Team Canada, while Caitlin Millham, Emma Swaffield, Jack Iles and Riley Seger were named to Team B.C.