The Whistler Mountain Ski Club hosted the opening race of the season for K1 (age 11 and 12) and K2 (age 13 and 14) skiers last weekend, a zone competition hosted by Teck, the Vancouver Sun and Whistler Blackcomb.
It was cold, snowy and windy, but organizers managed to get all of the races off and all 180 participating racers through the course. The WMSC put skiers on the podium in every event.
The first day was a giant slalom. The K1 racers got one lap of the course and the K2's two laps.
In K1, Kasper Woolley and his Viking horns took the boy's gold medal for the WMSC - quite a feat for a first year K1 skier. Alex Uryga won the silver and Kole Harle of Mt. Washington placed third. On the girl's side, Whistler's Bria Henderson was second, between Grouse Mountain skiers Keeley Tafel and Tamara Smallwood.
In the K2 category Kelly Steeves won gold for the WMSC, followed by teammate Mikayla Martin. Cassandra Mah of Grouse placed third.
"I didn't realize how much I had missed it until this weekend," said Martin of her race.
The boy's team also took the top two spots, with Marc Leroux first and Dalton Pehota one step down on the podium. Sam Mulligan of Grouse finished third.
Racers tightened their turns for Sunday's slalom race.
In K1 boys, Alex Uryga moved up to the gold medal step, while Kasper Woolley placed second. Max Kirshenblatt, also from the WMSC, placed third to sweep the podium.
In K1 girls, the WMSC team matched that with Laura Swaffield taking the gold medal, followed by teammates Gabrielle Smith and Katie Fleckenstein. Katie, who was injured at gymnastics earlier in the season, was still on crutches the day before her bronze medal.
"I'm really proud of myself and also of my friends from Whistler who did their best and made the top 10," said Swaffield.
In K2, Mikayla Martin and Rachel Vander Veen won gold and bronze for the WMSC, with Grouse's Cassandra Mah second.
Sam Mulligan claimed the boys' K2 for Grouse, while Marc Leroux and Alex Gershon placed second and third.
Complete results are posted online at www.bcalpine.com.