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Local luger left out of finals

Sports Briefs: WSS volleyball finishes out of provincials; Schiller joins NextGen staff; Powder Mountain rejects Provincial Pass

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Whistler's Reid Watts missed out on qualifying for the men's singles race at the artificial track in Innsbruck, Austria, over the weekend. The race was Watts' first of the 2017-18 FIL World Cup season.

Finishing 21st in the Nations Cup race, Watts missed out on the men's final by 0.169 seconds. Only the top 17 racers from the Nations Cup advance. But his race did give him six World Cup points, good enough to rank 35th in the 71-racer field.

Mitchel Malyk of Calgary qualified, finishing 0.27 seconds ahead of Watts, and went on to finish the weekend as Canada's top male, 29th overall.

Team Canada's best results of the weekend came courtesy of Calgary's Alex Gough, who slid to fourth on the women's side, with a two-run time of 1:20.705. Germany boxed her out of the podium, after Natalie Geisenberger, Dajana Eitberger and Tatjana Huefner finished top three. Teammate Kimberly McRae, also of Calgary, finished four spots behind her with a time of 1:20.956.

Gough was also key in helping Canada's relay team to a silver medal finish. Along with singles rider Malyk and the doubles sled of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith (both also racing out of Calgary), Canada finished with a time of 2:11.025, a little ways behind the gold medal Germans who had a time of 2:10.667.

In other Canadian results, Walker and Smith finished the doubles event in 22nd.

Next weekend, the World Cup tour stops in Winterberg, Germany. The racers won't return to home soil until Dec. 8, when they begin events in Calgary.

WSS Volleyball Season Over

The Whistler Secondary School senior girls volleyball team failed to advance to provincials after they dropped all three games in double A zone qualifiers in Richmond on Nov. 16. It was the team's first year playing at that level after moving up from single A.

"The girls had some amazing moments on the court and they almost took a set off of each team they played," said Danica Hebert, a coach for the team. "Considering our girls only play three months a year, compared to most players in the city who play all year round, I think they competed remarkably well. I'm very happy with how our season finished and the improvements made by all the players."

The team was mostly comprised of members of the Whistler Gold squad that won the District Championships on Nov. 10 after defeating Howe Sound in the final 3-1. Whistler Secondary rounded out their team with a few players added from Whistler Blue, who finished third in the district.

B.C.'s provincial volleyball championships take place in Langley Nov. 29 until Dec. 2.

Trail Whisperer Race series open

Registration for next year's Tenderfoot Boogie and the Frosty Mountain Ultra Trail Race is now open. Early bird sign up for both races ends on Jan. 31. Afterwards, registration fees will increase.

The ninth Tenderfoot Boogie takes place June 23, 2018 winding its way from Squamish all the way to Whistler. The race offers four distances: 13 km, 28 km, 50 km and the 50-mile ultra. The course maxes out at an elevation of over 975 metres. The price for the race also increases again after May 31 and no runners will be accepted after June 21.

The 11th Frosty Mountain Ultra runs on Sep. 15, 2018 in Manning Provincial Park. There's a 13 km, 27 km and 50 km option, with each race ending at the Lightning Lake parking lot. Register before July 31 to avoid paying the maximum, but you can sign up right until Sep. 8.

The pair of epic races are put on by Gottfried Grosser, whose goal was to give the trail running community more options to experience the beauty and conquer the diverse terrain of British Columbia's spectacular back country.

You can register for each race, or find out more info at www.trailwhisperer.ca/.

Schiller joins NextGen staff

Former X Games gold medallist TJ Schiller will be training the next crop of Canadian slopestyle skiers, after joining the nation's NextGen coaching staff. He'll aid current Freestyle Canada coaches Jeremy Cooper and Gabriel Leclerc in preparing young skiers for NorAm and World Cup races.

"I feel like I've reunited with my family by joining Freestyle Canada's NextGen program. I know the athletes well, and I know Jeremy Cooper from Silver Star. I see so much potential in these kids, and they undoubtedly have the skills required to be part of the national team," said Schiller in a release.

Schiller, a Vernon, B.C., native, became the first skier to successfully land a double cork 1620 at the X Games, and he now calls the event for CBC Sports. After an enjoyable career that saw him win countless big air contests, including a handful in Whistler, he wants his young athletes to have fun too.

"Athletes must make sure that skiing stays a passion. When there's no more pleasure, it's harder to learn and evolve; so there's a fine line between having fun and taking yourself too seriously. This will be my key message for those young athletes," he said.

Canada's freestyle team begins their World Cup season this weekend in Stubal, Austria.

Powder Mountain rejects Provincial Pass

At its annual general meeting on Monday, the Powder Mountain Snowmobiling Club voted against supporting the BC Snowmobile Federation's controversial Provincial Pass.

"(The Federation) want to gather everyone's money in their hands, and then when we do some grooming, we have to send them an invoice and they'll pay for grooming," said president Nelson Bastien. "We want to stay on our own. Our club collects trail fees and we're happy with the way it is. We don't want to send all of our money to the snowmobile federation and then hope that they'll pay us back for grooming hours, et cetera. It's a concept that I don't agree with and many others don't and the club, which represents the members here in Whistler said, 'We don't want to join.'"

Other notable items included the club voting for an increase of $25 to the season's pass. As well, they also approved a new board directors. Along with Bastien, the board consists of: vice-president Larissa McKeown; treasurer Ken Mitchell; secretary Mallory Lakins; director Shawn Willson and director Gavin Christie.

The meeting was held at the Cinnamon Bear Bar and Grille. More information about it, and other club happenings, can be found at www.powdermountainsnowmobiling.org.

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