Strong finishes for local lugers abroad 

Sports briefs: Whistler, Pemberton skiers rake in medals at B.C. Cup

click to enlarge REID WATTS
  • Reid Watts

Sea to Sky sliders put together some impressive outings when returning to Junior World Cup luge competition at Oberhof, Germany, for races held Jan. 24 and 25.

Pemberton's Jenna Spencer slid to an 11th-place finish in junior women's competition, posting the top North American result for the second week in a row. She posted the 10th-fastest second run of the day to clock in one second shy of the podium.

Making his second start on the circuit in youth A men's racing, Whistler's Reid Watts finished in ninth place, six-tenths of a second behind the Austrian winner. Several others based out of the Whistler Sliding Centre had strong finishes as well — Nicky Klimchuk-Brown ended up 16th, Adam Shippit placed 19th and Matthew Riddle slid into 26th spot.

Nicole Pidperyhora of Pemberton participated in the youth A women's race and recorded a 12th-place finish.

The FIL Junior World Championships are taking place this week, running Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Igls, Austria.

SKINNY SKIERS COLLECT MEDALS at B.C. Cup

Cross-country skiers from the Whistler and Spud Valley Nordics netted several top finishes during Teck B.C. Cup racing taking place at the Stake Lake Nordic Centre in Kamloops. The event featured individual start distances on Jan. 25 and a mass start on Jan. 26.

Spud Valley Nordic Ethan Hess dominated the para-Nordic sit-ski races, easily winning both. Local skiers in the midget girls' group were strong as well, with Benita Peiffer collecting first- and second-place finishes, and Mila Wittenberg taking two silver medals.

Joe Davies also earned two podium finishes in midget boys' competition, while Michael Murdoch finished third in his age group for the individual start. Bantam racer Linnea Uunila placed third in her Saturday race as well.

Lauren Doak recorded a pair of runner-up finishes in junior girls' racing, while Marte Welhaven earned a third-place result in her mass start race. Nicki Murdoch, racing the junior women's class, finished third in both races.

Rounding out podium results, Brent Murdoch placed second and third in his two master men's races for the 50 to 59 age group.

Other local skiers earning at least one top-10 finish in Kamloops included peewees Lennox Davies, Sierra Poochay-McBain and Alex Feuz, midgets Fraser Doak and Alisa Feuz, and juveniles Jonathan Rabung and Julia Long.

Visit www.zone4.ca for full results.

PEAK TO VALLEY WARM-UP WELL ATTENDED

More than 80 skiers spent Sunday warming up for this weekend's Peak to Valley Race by participating in a GS on Lower Franz's.

Ryan Oughtred was the only racer of the day to post a two-run time under two minutes, and he took first in the men's 30 to 39 group. Other men's winners from the warm-up race were Clinton Small (19 to 29), Robert Mitchell (40 to 49), Rich Lewon (50 to 59), Peter Lyall (60 to 69), Lloyd Henderson (70 to 79) and Owen Owens (80-plus).

Sanae Tanaka was the fastest female on the day, edging Kary Firstbrook for first in the women's 50 to 59 division. Other women's category winners included Frederique de Muszka (19 to 29), Kelly Jackson (30 to 39), Amanda Butler (40 to 49), Joy Fera (60 to 69) and Grace Oaks (70-plus).

P'AYAK PUTS UP CASH

The Sigge's P'ayakentsut cross-country ski event announced this week that a $3,400 prize purse will be up for grabs when the loppet races take place on Feb. 22 at Whistler Olympic Park.

There will be no primes awarded this year, but the money has been rolled into the main pot for the 30- and 50-kilometre races, while many other draw prizes will be handed out.

Despite the low snowfall so far this winter, event chair Dirk Rohde said in a release that conditions at the venue are excellent and will only continue to improve.

"The trails are in very good condition for both classic and skate, some of the best I've experienced at the park," said Rohde. "Even if it didn't snow again before race day, we could hold the event."

The deadline for early bird registration is coming up on Friday, Jan. 31. The two-day event will also feature a kids' tournament and youth ski cross event on Feb. 23.

Visit www.payak.ca for full details.

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