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WMSC skiers on podium at K1 westerns, J1 championships


It was a busy weekend for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, with members of the K1 team (age 11 to 12) at the K1 Western Championships in Revelstoke and the J1 team (ages 15 to 16) in Whistler for the Pontiac GMC Canadian J1 Championships.

The K1s were up against skiers from as far away as Manitoba, and were challenged by two-run races. Usually in that age category every run is a medal event, but the championships combined times from two runs to determine the winners.

In the giant slalom Kelly Steeves of the WMSC placed second, with teammates Rachel Vanderveen and Catlin Millham in fourth and fifth places respectively.

The WMSC's Dalton Pehota came third in the men's GS, with Jack Iles in fourth place.

In slalom, Kelly Steeves and Rachel Vanderveen made up for disappointing first runs with the two fastest second runs of the day, with Vanderveen claiming the bronze medal and Steeves fifth.

The men's slalom was disappointing, with Marc Leroux earning the club's best result, eighth place.

The final event was the Kombi, a format that emphasizes skills more than speed, by combining elements of other alpine events.

Vanderveen picked up the silver medal and Steeves the bronze. Dalton Pehota won silver in the men's race.

"This was a good opportunity to test our skills against other regions of Canada," said WMSC K1 head coach Raul Anguita. "Although our level as a club is quite strong, it is necessary to step up our efforts."

The J1 Championships hosted the best racers from across Canada, as well as some up and coming American skiers. The events got off to a wonky start with snow at the start of the weekend and the cancellation of three events, but the racers soon settled in for some competitive racing on the Dave Murray Downhill.

In the opening super combined race, the Whistler Mountain Ski Club's William Konantz placed second behind Ontario's Mike Turnbull, while Spencer Morris was fifth, Justin Hayto eighth, and Daniel Kwong 15th out of almost 70 starters.

"I definitely went a little too round in the super G," said Konantz. "I could have gone a lot straighter. The super G track is perfect, the course workers have done a great job."

The top WMSC skier in women's super combined was Madison McLeish in ninth position, with Catriona Blair and Jocelyn Ramsden in 13th and 15th respectively.

In the women's giant slalom Madison McLeish moved up to fifth place, with teammate Jocelyn Ramsden one spot back in sixth. Mackenzie Patterson was 12th.

In the slalom on Monday Mackenzie Patterson moved up to fourth place, missing the podium by 0.38 seconds. Elyse Timoshenko was 10th.

Spencer Morris was sixth on the men's side, with Daniel Kwong in 13th place.

In the super G Michael Cadman was the top Whistler skier, in ninth place. Catriona Blair and Mackenzie Patterson were seventh and eighth for the women's team.

The event wrapped up on Wednesday.