The Whistler Mountain Ski Club headed to Silver Star last weekend to take part in the U14 Teck Provincials, with World Cup downhill star Manuel Osborne-Paradis turning out to wish the athletes luck on their way out. Looks like it worked...
In Friday's giant slalom, Anna Gosney skied into first place, while Nicole Mah, Mollie Jepsen, Ella Renzoni and Katei Fleckenstein joined her in the top 10 in seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th.
The course was reset in the afternoon for a second race, and Gosney placed first once again, this time with Jepsen joining her on the podium in second place. Fleckenstein, Renzonie and Mah also made the top 10 again in seventh, eighth and ninth.
In the opening men's race, Kasper Woolley also won gold for Whistler, with teammate Finn Iles placing third, Kyle Alexander fourth, Asher Jordan sixth and Masashi Tsutsumi in 10th.
In the second race, Woolley picked up another gold medal, while Iles moved up one spot to second and Alexander made it a WMSC sweep in third. Rounding out the top 10 were Jordan in fourth and Tsutsumi in seventh.
Saturday was the slalom. In the first women's race the WMSC skiers fell short of the podium with Fleckenstein fourth, Gosney fifth, Mah seventh and Renzoni eighth. In the second race Fleckenstein fell back to fifth, Renzoni was sixth, Gosney seventh, Mah eighth and Jepsen 10th.
On the men's side, Tsutsumi finished the first race with a bronze medal, while Wooley was fourth, Iles seventh and Jordan eight. In the second race, Iles won a silver medal, Alexander was fourth, Woolley fifth and Tsutsumi seventh.
Next up was the ski cross race, with teams of two racing. The team of Gosney and Fleckenstein placed first, while Renzoni teamed up with Kristina Ntalenko from Grouse to win silver. Mollie Jepsen joined Jane Andison from Red Mountain to win bronze.
For the men, Tstusumi and Zane Torres of Big White joined forces to win bronze. Edward Coleman, Myles Kowaczyk and Nikola Filipovic were also in the top 10 for the WMSC.
Whistler Cup this weekend
The team's next outing is this weekend's Rio Tinto-Alcan Whistler Cup, the 21st anniversary of the international juvenile ski race. Over 450 racers under the age of 14, including teams from 19 different countries, will be competing in the event, vying for medals and the overall nations cup title. Switzerland currently holds the trophy, although Canada is hoping to win it back.
Every year the top U14 racers from across Canada are named to Team Canada, which will go head-to-head with international skiers in the first bib draw. They're followed by provincial teams, and then skiers at the club.
This year just one Whistler athlete, Riley Seger, has been named to Team Canada. Members of the provincial team will likely include the top skiers from the provincial championships at Silver Star, including Anna Gosney and Kasper Woolley.
Numerous World Cup athletes got their start in the Whistler Cup, including most of the senior members of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and Slovenian champion Tina Maze. This season Maze was on the podium a record 24 times, winning 11 races.