Whistler will be well represented in the maple leaf at next month's Whistler Cup.
Two Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) athletes will don the red and white as part of Team Canada from April 3 through 5.
Katie Fleckenstein and Asher Jordan qualified by virtue of strong results at the Apex Fidelity U16 CanAm races at Apex Mountain Resort from March 12 to 15.
Fleckenstein, of West Vancouver, had a strong showing winning both super-G races at the event, as well as the overall women's title. Fleckenstein knocked off Panorama's Rachel Kanan by 0.13 seconds in the first super-G and Kananaskis' Abby Harrison by 0.14 seconds in the second. Fleckenstein was also fourth in the slalom and fifth in the giant slalom.
After not feeling quite like herself at some recent events, Fleckenstein feels like she's back up to par after the strong showing.
"It was pretty cool (to win both super-Gs). After winning the first one, it built up my confidence," Fleckenstein said. "Speed is usually my thing, and after Canada Games and Parsons, I was kind of questioning it.
"It felt really good to be back on top."
WMSC also swept the men's side, though only the first race was a Whistler Cup qualifier. Jordan, of North Vancouver, punched his ticket after putting 0.52 seconds between himself and Panorama's Jamie Casselman. Jordan was also fifth in the second super-G and nabbed a silver in the giant slalom.
Jordan said he overcame some typical pre-race jitters in order to score the strong showing.
"I worry too much and I think about small things. It gets me very not-in-the-zone," Jordan explained. "I try to have a free mind."
Kyle Alexander won the second race by 0.94 seconds over runner-up Sunshine Alpine Racers' Adrian Grabinski, the overall winner on the men's side.
Other WMSC skiers had strong showings. On the women's side, Mollie Jepsen had three top 10s, finishing seventh and 10th in the two super-Gs and ninth in the giant slalom while Ella Renzoni notched two 10ths – one in the super-G and another in the giant slalom. On the men's side, Kasper Woolley pulled off fourth place finishes in the super-G and giant slalom as well as a ninth-place in the first super-G.
Whistlerites wrap up FIS Junior World Ski Championships
Broderick Thompson fell just short of the top 10 in his final three opportunities at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Hafjell, Norway. The Whistler product was 11th in the alpine combined, 17th in the super-G and 13th in the downhill.
Fellow Whistlerite Brodie Seger wrapped up the event with a 28th-place showing in the downhill while fellow WMSC skier Jack Crawford was 30th.
In terms of Canadian men, Jeffrey Read was 36th in the alpine combined and 46th in the super-G.
On the women's side, Valerie Grenier had a strong showing for Canada, posting a fifth-place finish in the downhill while Candace Crawford notched the same result in the super-G while also placing ninth in the super combined.
Roni Remme, meanwhile, placed 33rd in the downhill, 35th in the super combined and 49th in the super-G.
Lastly, Stephanie Gartner was 39th in the super combined and 52nd in the super-G.
In other Whistler skiing news, ski-cross racer Marielle Thompson, sister to Broderick, was honoured as the 2015 Senior Female Athlete of the Year at the Sport BC's 49th Annual Athletes of the Year Gala in Vancouver on March 12. The same night, Vernon sit-skier Josh Dueck received the 2015 Athlete with a Disability Award.
BC bobsleigh, skeleton seasons wrap up
There was a little bit of World Cup flavour at Whistler Sliding Centre as the BC Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association wrapped up its season.
In racing action on March 14 and 15, World Cup athlete Jane Channell of North Vancouver won the women's skeleton race over fellow racer Madison Charney, who started the year on the circuit.
Channell's four-run time of three minutes, 45.75 seconds (3:45.75) bested Charney by 1.53 seconds. Mimi Rahneva placed third, 3.56 seconds back.
As for the men, Albertan Joe Cecchini topped the podium, finishing with a time of 3:40.04, which was 0.96 seconds ahead of Greg Rafter and 3.07 seconds up on bronze medallist Mitch McCullough.
In the bobsleigh event, Canadian athlete Christine De Bruin's sled edged out Julie Johnson's entry by 1.38 seconds with a winning time of 3:42.23, while Ivo De Bruin, representing the Netherlands and posting a 3:37.21, beat Canadians Taylor Austin and Jason McKechnie by 2.39 and 3.87 seconds, respectively.
Mark Lynch handily won the mixed skeleton competition and Rick Gardner slid off with the mixed bobsleigh title.
The next night, on March 16, the BCBSA held the Cool Runnings Cup, a race with plank bobsleighs where local teams challenged one another.
Instead of recording the best pure time, the teams took part in a consistency race, where they sought to put down two runs that were as equal as possible.
After two runs, Janaya Randell and Renee Ulcoq of Blacks Pub and Kelly Siggs and Lidia Maer of Coastal Climbing Group had tied for first, with 0.11 seconds separating their respective runs.
After a third run, Randell and Ulcoq emerged victorious by just 0.12 seconds in all.
Blacks' Glen Goodwin and Sarah Teeple and Coastal's Joyce Sarte and James Siggs rounded out the podium.
The Brewhouse also entered teams into the event.
Figure skater second at Super Series STARSkate final
Whistler figure skater Kate Risso impressed the judges at the SuperSeries STARSkate final in Kelowna earlier this month.
Risso won silver in the Star 4 category, landing two axels and a combination to earn a strong score at the event.
Next up, the Whistler Skating Club will be off to Parksville for the 2015 Super Series Vancouver Island from April 10 to 12.
First toonie coming
Cyclists looking to spring into the season can do so on the spring equinox.
WORCA's first toonie race is set to take place this Saturday, March 21 beginning at the Passivhaus at Lost Lake Park. Registration is at 3:30 p.m. with the race kicking off at 4 p.m.
Participants must have a valid 2014 WORCA membership (as memberships are active from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015). The race cost is $2 for members or $20 for non-members (including the cost of a one-day membership).
At the après, an $800 gift certificate for Tyax Adventures is up for grabs.
NHL stars to descend on Whistler this summer
Two young hockey stars are set to hit the links for charity at Whistler Golf Club this summer.
And they'll be bringing a bunch of their famous friends.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward and 2015 NHL All-Star Game MVP Ryan Johansen and San Jose Sharks defenceman Brenden Dillon have lent their names to the inaugural Ryan Johansen and Brenden Dillon Whistler Invitational. The 18-hole golf tournament will take place Aug. 8.
Numerous NHLers and prospects, including Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber, Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Vancouver Canucks draft picks Hunter Shinkaruk and Jake Virtanen, have already committed to attending.
Teams will consist of a PGA golfer, hockey player and three amateurs or a hockey player and four amateurs at a cost of $3,000 per team. An option for just a round of golf and dinner for four is available for $1,500 per team.
Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Make-A-Wish Canada.
For more information, visit www.whistlerinvitational.com.
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