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Sports Briefs: Pemberton fifth, Whistler seventh in B.C.

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Both Pemberton and Whistler secondary schools qualified teams for the high school provincial girls' championships, which took place last weekend in Kelowna.

Both competed in the A division for small high schools in terms of enrolment.

Whistler came into the tournament ranked sixth out of 16 teams, while Pemberton was eighth.

In Pool A, Pemberton finished second overall. They lost 4-2 to Glenlyon-Norfolk, but chalked up wins against Similkameen (3-1) and JV Humphries (5-0). However, Glenlyon-Norfolk, a soccer academy, was perfect and advanced to the finals to battle it out for first through fourth place, while Pemberton was left to battle it out for fifth through eighth.

In Pool C, Whistler also placed second. They lost to Immaculata 5-0, but chalked up wins over Fort St. James (4-3) and Cedar Community School (3-2).

Pemberton went on to beat Langley Christian 3-2 and Osoyoos 4-0 to finish with a 5-1 record, fifth overall.

Whistler lost its semi-final game against Osoyoos 4-1 and then tied Langley 3-3 to take seventh overall.

It was not the first time that the teams have qualified for provincials, but both teams placed higher than ever before.

Squamish 5 Peaks this weekend

The annual 5 Peaks trail running series is making a stop in Squamish this season, with a run in Alice Lake Provincial Park this Saturday, June 9.

A huge crowd is expected with over 400 runners taking part in 5 Peaks races around the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

The online registration closes today (Thursday, June 7) at 3 p.m. at www.5peaks.com. Day of race registration and package pickup is available for a $5 surcharge starting a 9 a.m. at Alice Lake Provincial Park. The cost is $50 per person.

There will be a Children's Challenge 1km run at 9:30 a.m., followed by the start of the 6.9km Sport race and 11km Enduro race at 10 a.m.

The Sport course features about 140 metres of elevation gain, or just over 400 feet. The Enduro course has over 350 metres of climbing, or close to 1,300 feet.

Trail workers needed this weekend

The work to complete Duncan Mackenzie's trail will continue this weekend, June 9 and 10, and volunteers are appreciated — no experience needed.

Whistler ski patroller and trail builder Duncan Mackenzie started the trail a few years ago, and friends have continued the work in his honour after he was killed in an avalanche this past winter — and because it's going to be a great trail when it's complete.

Our last article on the trail exaggerated how much was complete, with people confusing Mackenzie's trail with another new descent in the same area. Mackenzie completed a large section of trail up top, minus a few bridges. The middle section was roughed in, while the more technical bottom section is reasonably finished.

The work will continue for a while, with a goal of linking top and bottom by the end of the weekend.

Overall the upper two-thirds of the trail will be moderately difficult, getting more challenging near the bottom — the result of the rugged terrain in the area.

If you can help out, crews will be meeting one kilometre up the Microwave Tower Road near the reservoir, accessible from the Interpretive Forest Parking Lot. Bring food, water, good work gloves and tools if you have them.

Any time you have, whether it's a half-day or two full days, is appreciated and will help to make "It's Business Time," Duncan's working name for the trail, a reality.

Drop-in flag football for kids

Whistler and Sea to Sky have embraced youth football, sending teams to compete in the North Shore Football League for the past two years.

To drum up interest in the game, Sea to Sky Football is hosting "Friday Night Lights" drop-in flag football through the month of June, starting this Friday, June 8.

The fun is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Spring Creek Community School, and is for free to join. Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 12 are welcome to come out.

The drop-in session will run four weeks, winding up on June 22.

No equipment is necessary, although field cleats can be helpful.

Brandon Semenuk tops Crankworx invite list

Going into Crankworx 2011, Whistler's Brandon Semenuk had won every major mountain bike slopestyle event in the world except for his home event during the Crankworx Whistler festival.

He came back from a crash in his first run to set the high score of the day, which stood all the way through the super finals and guaranteed him the win at Red Bull Joyride — as well as a $25,000 cheque and the overall Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Tour title.

This season, Semenuk is recovering from an injury and has yet to compete in any events, but he is expected to return to competition at some point this season. He also tops the invite list for this year's Red Bull Joyride competition.

The Whistler event is one of two diamond level FMB events this year.

As last year's winner, Semenuk earned an automatic invite, as did 2011 champion Cam McCaul. In fact, all athletes in the top three last year have automatic invites through 2014, while athletes ranked fourth through 10th last year are all invited back for 2012.

Other invites go to winners at gold-level FMB events, and to riders in the top 12 of the FMB rankings after July 7.

So far the Whistler list includes Semenuk, Cam Zink, Anthony Messere, Greg Watts, Geoff Gulevich, Cam McCaul, Mike Montgomery, Casey Groves, Martin Soderstrom, Tyler McCaul, Kurt Sorge, Jamie Goldman, Darren Berrecloth, Tomas Genon, Yannick Granieri, Sam Pilgrim and Sam Reynolds.

Only a handful of events at Crankworx Whistler are invite-only, including the Red Bull Joyride and Teva Best Trick Showdown. All of the races are wide open, with registration opening on June 1. Visit www.crankworx.com for more.

Athletes finish Half Iron

A handful of Sea to Sky athletes made the long driver to Oliver this past weekend for the Eastlink Oliver Half Iron race. The race included a 1.9km swim, an 88km bike and a 21.1km run — significantly longer than an Olympic-distance race and half the distance of an Ironman competition.

From Squamish, Volker Schneider placed 30th overall and 11th out of 84 in Male 40 to 44 in 4:49:25.

Timothy Moore was 53rd overall and fifth out of 77 in Male 45 to 49 in 5:00:56.

Roger Shirt was 26th in the same category in 5:20:30.

Karen Jakobsen was 44th in Female 45 to 49 in 7:22:54.

From Pemberton, Paul Vacirca place 55th overall and third out of 65 racers in the Male 50 to 54 category in 5:02:25.

Nancy Johnston was eighth out of 57 in Female 45 to 49 in 5:48:10.

From Whistler, Mike Conway placed 75th overall and 11th out of 51 racers in Male 30 to 34 with a time of five hours, eight minutes and 33 seconds.

Greg Sandkuhl was second out of 13 racers in the Male 65 to 69 race with a time of 5:59:26.

Tom Barratt was eighth out of 13 in the Male 60 to 64 race in 6:40:44.

Maridee Fitch was 33rd in Female 50 to 54 in 7:37:41.

Miller, Smith solid at Val di Sol

Squamish's Miranda Miller and Nanaimo's Steve Smith represented Canada the World Cup downhill at Val di Sol, Italy this past weekend, racing a long and dusty course.

Smith, racing with a broken finger, held onto fifth spot overall on the World Cup tour with a 10th place finish. Aaron Gwin of the U.S. took the win, followed by South Africa's Greg Minnaar and Gee Atherton of Great Britain.

On the women's side, Squamish's Miranda Miller placed 12th overall, a few seconds back of athletes like Sabrina Jonnier of France and Tracey Hannah of Australia. Rachel Atherton of Great Britain took the win by almost five full seconds, followed by French riders Myriam Nicole and Emmeline Ragot.

Leuders defects to Russian team

Just one week after announcing that he would be stepping down as a development coach for Bobsleigh Canada, five-time Olympian — and two-time Olympic medallist — Pierre Leuders announced he would be joining the Russian team as head coach.

The two announcements were evidently related, and Leuders told CBC that he was cognizant of the impact it would have on the Canadian program.

"Well, it's two years out from the 2010 Olympics, so certainly you don't want to make a career move as a coach or wind up upsetting the team that you're with, obviously," he said. "There's still enough time for the Canadian team to make some transitions, as they will, and for my new team as well to transition into that team."

June filling up with events

June 16 — Test of Metal. This 67km mountain bike race has been sold out almost since registration got underway, but there are still lots of ways to get involved as a volunteer or participant in other festival events. Visit www.testofmetal.com.

June 23-24 — Tough Mudder. The Vancouver edition of this obstacle course event takes place over two days at Whistler Olympic Park with 22 challenges over a 16km course. Teamwork is expected for some of the obstacles. Visit www.toughmudder.com/events/vancouver for registration and more details.

June 24 — Comfortably Numb Trail Run. This 25km trail run is one of the best in the corridor with a little gravel at the start and finish and over 23km of mountain bike singletrack. Visit www.runthenorthshore.com for details and registration.

June 30 — Whistler Dragon Boat Festival. After a year's hiatus the Whistler Dragon Boat Festival returns Canada Day weekend with a one-day race on Alta Lake, based out of Rainbow Park. Details at www.watersedgesportperformance.com.

June 30 — Tenderfoot Boogie. This is the second year for this trail race, which starts in Squamish and finishes in Whistler. There are 28km, 50km and 50 Mile (80km) options, and you can run solo or as part of a relay. Visit www.trailwhisperer.ca/Tenderfoot/ for more information.