As Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) turns the page on the 2015-16 season, two Segers will take on bigger roles with the squad next season.
Older brother Brodie, 20, received the call-up to the main squad when the roster was unveiled on May 16. One of the racers replacing him will be younger brother Riley, 19, who rises from the B.C. Alpine ranks.
Brodie will join a complement of young Whistler Mountain Ski Club racers on the men's team alongside Broderick Thompson and Jack Crawford, both of whom made the jump in 2015. Veteran Manny Osborne-Paradis will also serve as a West Coast ambassador.
After a strong season and an impressive spring training camp at Sunshine Village, Brodie said he'd received some subtle indications from how his coaches addressed him that he was in good standing.
"I think (making the team) was a lot more anticlimactic for me than it was for some other people because it wasn't like I had to wait for some announcement to be made. I knew through my coaches pretty much right away," he said. "It had been a goal all season. It wasn't something that was like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe it happened.' I was working towards it and so it didn't really come as a huge surprise to me.
"It was interesting when the announcement came out because I started getting all of these congratulations messages and a lot of people seemed really surprised all of a sudden. I was, 'Oh, I didn't realize it was out of the blue,'" he chuckled.
Brodie enjoyed a strong season overall, taking a top 10 in addition to a pair of top-15 finishes at the Junior World Ski Championships near Sochi, Russia in March. He also placed second in Alpine combined at the national championships here in Whistler later that month and had claimed his first NorAm Cup podium earlier in the season with a third-place in the giant slalom at Whiteface Mountain in New York state.
But for every shred of joy, there seems to be a dose of frustration. For Brodie, at least on the NorAm circuit, it seemed to manifest itself just hours after taking a step after the GS race.
"The next day, we had a NorAm super-G. I won the first two intervals that day and then my ski popped off and I ended up not finishing the race. I was pissed off. I didn't think my run was going that well, actually, and it wasn't until I came all the way down the mountain and got in the lodge and the people who were watching live timing were like, 'Oh my god, you were crushing it! What happened?'" he recalled. "That was a highlight, but also a big bummer at the same time."
Even with some solid results, Brodie acknowledged he fell short of the high standards he had set for himself before the season began, such as making his World Cup debut and finishing on the overall NorAm Cup speed podium. Those will remain in place for 2016-17.
"My season this year actually says a lot about goal-setting and the importance of setting high goals for yourself. Not unrealistic goals, but ones that you know are going to be a challenge for yourself because I actually didn't quite reach a lot of the goals that I set for myself this season, but it was still enough to make that next step and qualify for the next level," he said. "Even if you don't quite get there, you're still moving forward."
A springboard into 2015-16 actually came for Brodie in the spring of 2015, when he consistently found himself making the top 10, and even the top five, in some heated fields.
"It kind of clicked in my head — 'Holy crap, I'm there,'" he said. "I can be there. I can be in that top section.
"This season was all about building off that confidence and gaining confidence that I can easily be at the top there and I just need to execute that. Next season is going to be about building more on that and moving forward so I can consistently be at the top."
Younger brother thrilled for jump
Riley Seger, meanwhile, was honoured to find his name listed among the development squad members when the list was released.
While his exact itinerary hasn’t been put together for the season ahead, he hopes to continue his progression on the NorAm Cup circuit with an occasional sprinkling of Europa Cup action and, ideally, an appearance at the Junior Worlds in Åre, Sweden.
"It's super cool. It's good to know that the hard work has paid off and I'll be joining my brother on the team. I'll be working with him a little bit. I haven't done that in a long time," he said.
The younger Seger had his share of highs and lows through the year, suffering through a frustrating slew of disqualifications and races cut short by DNFs and DNQs in December. He righted himself after Christmas, however, taking four FIS podiums, including two wins, at Nakiska and Canada Olympic Park, by mid-January.
"Our coaches are always talking about, 'It's all about the process,' so it's really just important to not really worry about the results and focus on what you're working on in your skiing," he said. "When that comes together, everything else will come together."
To wrap the season, Riley took a third in the downhill at the national championships while also taking two other top-10 placements at his home Whistler hill.
"It was easy to relax. I've skied that hill so much that it was easy in the fog with the bad weather. It was just comfortable and everything just went well for me," he said.
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