Freestyle skiers clean up in Vernon 

Whistler girls claim 25 medals in Super Youth stop at Silver Star

click to enlarge silver and gold
  • silver and gold

Whistler Blackcomb's Freestylerz didn't leave many medals behind during Super Youth ski events over the weekend in Vernon, sweeping a number of podiums while dominating three days of competition at Silver Star Resort.

The team's female skiers captured 25 of a possible 27 medals from big air, slopestyle and moguls contests held March 7 to 9. Whistler's boys in attendance for the Super Youth stop were also very strong, bringing home another 13 medals, leaving head coach Tami Bradley thoroughly impressed with the whole team's results.

"They're very advanced, these Whistler kids, in what they're doing," said Bradley, a two-time Olympian who leads the program run out of Whistler Blackcomb's Ski School.

Some of the team's eight- and nine-year-old girls were putting down 540s in slopestyle and 360s off the airs in moguls to reach the podium in Vernon, to give an example of how high the Freestylerz are setting the bar if other B.C. clubs have any hope of keeping up.

Maia Schwinghammer swept the girls' 12-year-old events, taking a gold medal in all of them and sharing the podium with teammates each time. Ava Dunham earned silver and bronze medals in big air and slopestyle; Josephine Howell did the same in moguls and slopestyle, and Raine Haziza's weekend included a big air bronze.

At the girls' 10-11 age level, Cassidy Butterworth collected three silver medals from her events. Skye Clarke took gold in big air and slopestyle, while Whistler teammate Anna Wilkinson won the group's moguls contest. Wilkinon also skied to big air bronze, while Maya Mikkelsen placed third in moguls.

Chase Capicik led the Freestylerz' eight- and nine-year-olds with gold medals in slopestyle and moguls. Lynnette Conn was on the podium in all three events, while Malica Malherbe skied to a pair of bronze medals. Katelyn Peterson secured the big air victory for the age group, and Emily Howell earned silver in slopestyle.

Many of the Whistler podium sweeps went much deeper than the top three, with local girls claiming up to the top seven spots in some disciplines.

Lucas Cruz hit the boys' 12-year-old podium three times to add to the Whistler team's medal haul. He won his age group's slopestyle and moguls competitions, as well as a bronze in big air. Gage Tindall also had medal finishes in slopestyle and moguls, while Julien Chartrand and Matthew Ogilvie-Turner each had top-five results.

Kai Martin took big air gold in the 10- and 11-year-old boys' group, while teammate Liam Rivera earned a moguls silver. Stephen Lindsay-Ross had two fourth-place finishes.

Oscar van Dongen and Daniel Gannon each brought home gold and silver medals from Vernon after their performances in eight- and nine-year-old boys' competition. Whistler's Teagan Cruz and Finn Grathwol had multiple results in the top five.

Finally, Riley Jackson captured big air gold and slopestyle silver in six- and seven-year-olds competition.

The team will now prepare for the B.C. Championships at Mount Washington in early April.

"We expect the results to carry on," said Bradley.

The Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club also sent several older athletes to Vernon for Timber Tour competition. Luke Smart was the skier to beat in M4 events, claiming gold in slopestyle and big air to go along with a silver in moguls. Chase Ujejski and Lucas Pelletier also reached the podium for silver medals, Ujejski earning his in slopestyle and Pelletier taking runner-up honours in big air.

Charles Armstrong, competing at the M3 level, earned a bronze medal in moguls and finished fourth in slopestyle.

Full results for Super Youth and Timber Tour competition are posted at www.bcfreestyle.com.

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