The Whistler Mountain Ski Club racers know the Dave Murray Training Centre run (formerly Ptarmigan) like the backs of their hands by now, so give credit to the skiers from other clubs who stole a handful of podiums away from the home team this past weekend at the annual Teck Parsons Super G race.
The Parsons speed series is one of the longest running youth speed events in Canada, created in the 1970s to give juvenile skiers a safe opportunity to ski a speed event before they graduate to the FIS level and take part in super G and downhill races. It's named for Bob Parsons, a member of the ski community who oversaw the course preparation for every ski race in Whistler — from the World Cup to the juvenile Back Bowl Downhill races — until he died in 1980.
There were two training days this year on Thursday and Friday, followed by two days of racing. There were three events each for K2-age boys and girls (aged 13 to 14). Conditions might have been slightly slower than usual with the recent snow, but athletes still clocked top speeds of 90km/h with the radar gun.
On Saturday, in the first two women's events, the WMSC girls swept the podium. In the first event it was Stefanie Fleckenstein in first in 1:02.41, followed by Mikayla Martin in 1:03.70 and Esme McTavish in 1:06.12. Chantal Deane was just off the podium for the WSMC in fourth. Also finishing in the top 15 were Laura Swaffield in seventh, Anna Yamaoka in ninth, Sabrina Wong in 10th, Cassidy Deane in 11th, Sarah Kapur in 12th, Cheyenne Ling in 13th and Gabrielle Smith in 14th out of close to 40 finishers.
In the second race it was Mikayla Martin in front in 1:05.31, followed by Stefanie Fleckenstein in 1:06.29 and Esme McTavish in 1:07.05. Laura Swaffield was fourth, Sabrina Wong sixth, Anna Yamaoka seventh, Chantal Deane eighth, Cassidy Deane ninth, Gabrielle Smith 10th, Cheyenne Ling 13th and Jasmin Smallwood 15th.
There was only one boys' race on Saturday. Grouse Mountain's Sam Mulligan — who swept the slalom and giant slalom races at the B.C. K2 championships the previous week — showed he could race the speed events as well. He took the win in 1:00.61, followed by the WMSC's Riley Seger in 1:01.11 and James Crawford in 1:01.63. Whistler kids made up the rest of the top 15, in order: Max Peiffer, Carson Llewellyn, Cameron Alexander, Graham Brown, Alex Gershon, Antoine Carignan-Turcotte, Alex Uryga, Jeffrey Cadman, Max Kirshenblatt, Lloyd Lyall, Charlie Tuer and Alexader Wilkinson.
In the only girls race on Sunday, Mikayla Martin took gold in 1:04.08, just eight-hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Stefanie Fleckenstein. Cassandra Mah of Grouse prevented a third sweep, finishing third in 1:06.01. In the top 15 for the WMSC were Chantal Deane in fourth, Esme McTavish in sixth, Laura Swaffield in seventh, Anna Yamaoka in eighth, Cassidy Deane in ninth, Cheyenee Ling in 11th, Gabrielle Smith 12th, Sabrina Wong 13th and Claire Baragar in 15th.
In the first boys race it was a WMSC sweep with Cameron Alexander first in 1:00.97, James Crawford second in 1:01.08 and Riley Seger third in 1:01.26. Also in the top 15, Max Peiffer was fifth, Alex Gershon sixth, Cooper Yates seventh, Carson Llewellyn eighth, Jeffrey Cadman ninth, Antoine Carignan-Turcotte 10th, Alex Uryga 11th, Lloyd Lyall 12th, Max Kirshenblatt 13th and Charlie Tuer 15th.
Sam Mulligan returned to the top of the podium in the second race, winning in 1:01.81 — just four one-hundredths ahead of Cameron Alexander. Riley Seger was third in 1:02.22.
Also in the top 15, James Crawford was fourth, Max Peiffer fifth, Carson Llewellyn sixth, Alex Gershon seventh, Alex Uryga eighth, Cooper Yates ninth, Graham Brown 10th, Jeffrey Cadman 12th, Max Kirshenblatt 13th, Antoine Carignan-Turcotte 14th and Lloyd Lyall 15th.
Complete results online at www.bcalpine.com.
— With files from Sheryl Beadle, WMSC