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Strong finish to season for Whistler's freestyle skiers

Smart sweeps events at Mount Washington in B.C. Championships

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Luke Smart led the Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club's athletes at the Timber Tour B.C. Championships over the weekend by claiming gold in all three events held April 4 to 6 at Mount Washington.

Smart secured the top placing in each of the slopestyle, moguls and dual moguls contests at the M4 (13-and-under) age level to finish his strong season on top.

Whistler skier Evan Low joined Smart on the slopestyle podium in third place as the club took five of the top eight positions for the age group overall. Evan Phillips, Max Edwards and Lucas Cruz placed sixth through eighth, respectively.

"Men's slopestyle was definitely good for Whistler," said club coach Evan Wilcox, who added that he's been thrilled with his team's performances at all age levels throughout the season.

Sam Cordell nearly joined Smart on the moguls podium with a fourth-place finish. Low, Kevin Leslie and Kai Smart each had top-10 finishes in the discipline. In M4 dual moguls, Low, Cordell and Leslie all reached the quarter-finals.

Charles Armstrong earned top-10 finishes in all three events at the M3 level (14- and 15-year-olds), his best being fifth in moguls, while fellow Whistler skier Aidan McConnell finished seventh in slopestyle.

Wilcox noted that he was pleased with the consistency of his athletes from event to event this winter, as the Whistler squad put in strong finishes at every Timber Tour stop.

Meanwhile, Whistler's Sofiane Gagnon took home three medals from Mount Washington, claiming gold in both moguls events and silver in slopestyle.

The Whistler Blackcomb Freestylerz also sent a big team over to Mount Washington for the B.C. Super Youth Championships, and the crew collected a whole bunch of medals during its three days of competition.

Chase Capicik swept the 8-9 girls' age group's three events, earning gold in moguls, slopestyle and big air to be one of several Whistler skiers on the podium three times. Malica Malherbe earned two silvers and a bronze in the same age group, while Lynette Conn claimed two medals and Katelyn Peterson grabbed one. Jayden Rainnie had two top-five finishes.

Skye Clarke led Whistler's 10-11 girls with victories in slopestyle and big air, while teammate Maya Mikkelsen took bronze in every event. Anna Wilkinson won the moguls competition, and Cassidy Butterworth and Madelyn Low were both in the top five twice.

Among 12-year-old girls, Maia Schwinghammer was the winner in moguls and big air. Erin Wilson collected two silver medals and Raine Haziza claimed two bronze. Josephine Howell won the age group's slopestyle contest and Ava Dunham was the runner-up in big air.

The Freestylerz had at least one athlete claim a trio of medals in each of the boys' age divisions. That included Gage Tindall, who earned one of each colour, including gold in moguls at the 12-year-old level.

In 10-11 boys' competition, Kai Martin finished with silver in all three events. Stephen Lindsay-Ross won the big air and took bronze from slopestyle.

Owen Scarth grabbed gold in slopestyle and big air in the 8-9 age group, and finished second to teammate Oscar Van Dongen in moguls. Van Dongen also skied to bronze in the other two disciplines. Daniel Gannon finished his weekend with two medals, and Quinn Goertzen and Ryley Butterworth each placed in the moguls top five.

Finally, Riley Jackson had a near-perfect weekend in events for skiers aged 6 and 7, winning gold in slope and big air to go along with silver in moguls.

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