Faced with a conflict between ski provincials and his hockey team's provincials, Whistler's Finn Iles split the difference. He headed first to Big White with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club where he earned gold medals in four events — two giant slaloms, one stubby slalom and one slalom — before skipping out on the final ski cross to get to his hockey tournament.
Four wins was more than good enough to earn Iles the provincial K1 titles (ages 11 and 12) for giant slalom and slalom, plus the overall title.
"Wow, I'm not sure I thought I would do as well as I did," he said. "I knew that I had to likely miss the ski cross — which I love to race — so I was really happy to not have to make a choice to stay or go based on my results after the slalom and giant slalom races."
After racing Sunday afternoon at Big White he was on the ice in Quesnel at 8 a.m. the next morning. As of Wednesday his team was undefeated.
On the women's side, Katie Fleckenstein also managed an overall title based on her results — two gold medals in the slalom, two bronze medals in the giant slalom and a fifth place finish in ski cross.
Iles and Fleckenstein were not the only skiers on the podium.
In the first stubby slalom, Fleckenstein was followed my teammate Micah Morris in third. Mollie Jepsen was 10th to round out the top 15.
Micah Morris moved up to second in the second slalom, and Mollie Jepsen tied for third. Others in the top 15 were Alissa Wong and Anna Gosney in seventh and eighth respectively.
In the first men's GS it was a Whistler sweep with Iles first, Kasper Woolley second and Asher Jordan third. Kyle Alexander was sixth.
In the second GS, Iles was trailed by Andrew Lee of Grouse, with Asher Jordan third and Kasper Woolley fourth. In the top 15, Masashi Tsutsumi was eighth, Myles Kowaczyck 12th, Griffin Smith 13th and Alexander Valentin 15th out of 105 starters.
The athletes switched courses on Sunday. In the opening girls' GS, Fleckenstein's bronze was the only medal for Whistler. Skiers in the top 15 were Anna Gosney in fourth, Mollie Jepsen and Alissa Wong in a tie for eighth, Lucy Turner in 12th and Micah Morris in 15th.
Fleckenstein led the team once again with her bronze, and Anna Gosney repeated her fourth place result. Lucy Turner was fifth, Micah Morris sixth, Mollie Jepsen seventh and Alissa Wong 11th.
In the first boys stubby slalom, Kasper Woolley joined Iles on the podium in third, Kyle Alexander was fourth, Asher Jordan ninth, Griffin Smith 10th and Masashi Tsutsumi 12th.
In the second slalom, Iles was the only WMSC skier on the podium. Kasper Woolley was fourth, Griffin Smith sixth, Mashashi Tsutsumi ninth, Jordan Asher 10th, Nikola Filipovic 13th and Kyle Alexander 14th.
In ski cross, Anna Gosney was the top girl from the WMSC in fourth place, with Fleckenstein in fifth, Lucy Turner eighth, Emma King 11th, Micah Morris 12th, Alissa Wong 13th and Martina Gershon 14th.
In the boys race Kyle Alexander and Kasper Woolley were first and second overall. In the top 15 were Masashi Tsutsumi in sixth, Alexander Valentin in seventh, Jordan Asher in ninth and Griffin Smith in 10th.
– With files from Agnes Finan
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