Ella Renzoni is the best in B.C. after she was nearly unstoppable at the Teck U14 Provincial Championship alpine races held over four days at Sun Peaks last week.
Renzoni won five of six girls' races between March 13 and 16 to take the overall title comfortably while leading a strong showing from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club contingent.
Both the boys and girls raced two one-run races and one two-run race in both technical disciplines. Renzoni swept the GS races over the first two days, then won two of three slalom events and placed fourth in the other.
Several Whistler girls were tremendously consistent at Sun Peaks, including Meg Swaffield, who ranked seventh overall after five finishes in the top seven. Sierra King earned five top-10 results to rank eighth, while Erin Dawson ended provincials 10th overall after three top 10s. Alissa Wong and Maja Woolley also earned multiple top-10 finishes.
Myles Kowalczyk also put his consistency on display in the boys' races, placing in the top 10 of every event to finish provincials ranked fifth. His best races were the two-run tests, as he placed fourth in the GS and third in the slalom.
"I think it took a day of slalom skiing to get our rhythm back after the two days of GS," Kowalczyk said after reaching the podium on the final day "We did a lot better in the two-run race."
Nathan Romanin had a strong week with three top-10 results, while Jack Forsyth, Jake Bennett and Ethan McTavish all climbed into the top 10 at least once.
The club's U14s are now preparing for the Whistler Cup.
JACKSON HEADED TO WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hailey Jackson of Whistler Gymnastics has earned a spot at the Western Canadian Championships, thanks to a fourth-place finish in all-around competition at the B.C. Championships held March 14 to 16 in Kamloops.
Jackson, a Level 4 competitor, placed second in floor exercise and third on the vault en route to her strong all-around result. She'll compete at the Western Championships at the end of April in Saskatoon, and will be the first gymnast from the club to qualify for the event.
Gabby Flynn finished sixth on the floor and eighth on bars in Level 4 competition but had to withdraw from the remaining events due to injury.
Level 3 gymnast Gigi Krancj, who had a busy weekend competing in alpine skiing provincials at Sun Peaks and another trampoline and tumbling meet in Kamloops, placed 13th overall, earning a fourth-place finish on the floor for her best result.
Meanwhile, clubmates Cassia Jean and Leah Brownlie both stepped on the Level 2 all-around podium after strong results through the weekend. Brownlie was second overall, aided by a beam gold and bars bronze, while Jean finished third all-around after winning the vault. Amy Ertel also competed at Level 2, earning a 10th-place vault finish in her provincials debut.
Kranjc and the other Whistler athletes who joined her at the trampoline meet also had solid finishes, with Kranjc placing second in Level 2 double mini-tramp competition.
Joe Davies earned a fourth-place finish in trampoline at Level 4, the highest category at provincials.
Whistler's Level 1s were impressive as well, led by Matthew Wallman, who was first on the trampoline and second on the double mini-tramp. Jett Williams placed second in tumbling, while Ella Soane made it to finals in both trampoline and double mini-tramp. Stephen Lindsay-Ross competed for the Whistler team as well.
MEDALS FOR MARTIAL ARTISTS
The 13 martial artists from Whistler's Awesome Arts Academy who travelled to the weekend's Tiger Balm Internationals brought home a total of 19 medals.
Adult competitors Adam Colpitts and Ryan Turner each captured gold in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the event, which ran March 15 and 16 at the Capilano University Sportsplex. Larissa Long earned a silver, while youth competitors Ethan Regan and Teppei Onishi secured silver and bronze, respectively.
Regan and Onishi battled their way to more hardware in karate events on Day 2. Regan claimed gold in continuous fighting (CF) and silver in point fighting (PF), while Onishi took silver in CF and gold in katas. Ramon Espada collected a CF bronze.
In 30-plus age group competition, Corey MacKinnon finished with a silver and Davin Peterson with a bronze in padded-weapon PF.
MacKinnon and Zen Moses both claimed kata gold at the event as well. Colpitts won three matches to take gold in kickboxing CF, while Ewen MacLeod and Fish Boulten took home silver medals.
LOCAL PUCKSTERS PUNTED FROM PLAYOFFS
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings were ousted from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs in a Game 7, double-overtime heartbreaker at home over the weekend.
The Glacier Kings, who have several Whistler players on the roster and longtime Whistler Winterhawks coach Joey Ewing behind the bench, lost 2-1 to the Peninsula Panthers on March 15 in the deciding game of the VIJHL's North Division final.
Whistler's Will Finlay scored the lone goal for Comox Valley, with fellow local product Jonas Horvath drawing an assist. The Glacier Kings also have Whistler's Grant Iles, Taylor Derynck and Mike Finlay on the roster. Ewing has added all of the local players to the team since taking over as general manager and head coach in the summer. The team topped the North Division standings in the regular season, finishing 18 points better compared to 2012-13.
Meanwhile, Whistler's Garrett Milan also saw his team eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend in NCAA Division I competition. Milan's St. Cloud State University Huskies were upset in the first round of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs, getting swept in their best-of-three series against Miami (Ohio). Milan, a depth forward for the Huskies, suited up in Game 1, registering two shots on goal.
The Huskies, who held the conference's No. 1 seed entering the playoffs, may still be considered for a spot in the Divison I national championships.
Whistler's Austin Evans had his Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season end March 13. The 19-year-old forward's Flin Flon Bombers were eliminated by the Estevan Bruins in a best-of-five, first-round series that went the distance.
Evans, who was acquired by the Bombers from the Battlefords North Stars in a trade-deadline deal, had a short-handed, game-winning goal and one assist during the series.