The Whistler Mountain Ski Club returned to competition the first time since January to compete in a CIBC-Wood Gundy K1 Coast Zone slalom this past weekend. The event was originally scheduled for Cypress, but was moved to Hemlock Valley due to the snow conditions.
The athletes faced the full gamut of weather and snow conditions, with spring conditions on Friday and Saturday, and a blizzard on Sunday.
The club had modest goals going into the competition increase the medal count and take the top spots in the provincial championship from March 15 to 17 at Mt. Washington. They did all that and more, taking 17 out of a possible 18 medals. Medal winners included Sam Gibson, Ben MacLean, Morgan Pridy and Dave Sandbert, and on the girls side Brooke Molne, Toria Whitney, and Brittany McGovern swept the podium.
"Our top athletes all performed really well, but what really stuck out were some of our surprise performers," said coach Sead Causevic.
"Local Whistler resident Eleanor Messegeur pulled off a spectacular fourth and a seventh place. Eleanor has truly improved and has benefited from the newly acquired Dynastar skis.
"Ryan Allan, one of our junior boys, placed 11 th and 12 th , giving the olders boys a run for the money.
"Our most pleasant surprise was another local resident, Abigail Cameron. Abby impressed us the first day by narrowly missing the top-15. On Sunday she got mad and skied well enough to earn a sixth place. Abby just joined our racing program this season at the age of 12 and this (was) her second ever race."
The team will train this weekend, focusing on the upcoming provincials. Look for the K1s and K2s on the Lower Cruiser run, and check out the terrain that will host the Olympic GS in 2010 if the Vancouver bid is successful.