The Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club and Whistler Nordics will be sending several athletes to the BC Winter Games, which are being hosted in Mission between Feb. 20 and 23.
The local freestyle club will have six athletes competing in slopestyle and moguls at the Hemlock Valley Resort, though there were eight club members who qualified for the Games.
Raine Haziza, Ava Dunham, Kevin Leslie, Lucas Pelletier, Carter Krasny and Chase Ujejski will compete for the Vancouver-Squamish zone team, while Anders Ujejski and Teagan Bruns made the squad but won't be able to participate due to injury.
Moguls competition is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21 and slopestyle takes place the following day.
Meanwhile, Whistler will be hosting part of the event itself, as Whistler Olympic Park will be used as a venue for cross-country and biathlon competition this weekend, so the Whistler Nordics in the field will get to race at home.
Benita Peiffer, Lauren Kilfoy-McKay, Fraser Doak, Michael Murdoch and Ian Davidson will be the local skiers competing.
Cross-country sprints will take place on Friday morning, followed by zone relays in the afternoon and interval start races on Saturday. Individual biathlon races are scheduled for Friday morning, while sprint races will be held Saturday morning.
Visit www.bcgames.org for full details.
DOAK GOLDEN AT WESTERNS
Local cross-country skier Lauren Doak strung together some strong performances when travelling to Prince George last week for the Haywood Nor-Am Western Canadian Championships, including one victory in the Junior Girls age group.
Doak took gold in the 7.5-km mass start race on Feb. 16 in a time of 25 minutes, 10 seconds, holding off her nearest competitor by two seconds.
Earlier in the set of races at the Otway Nordic Centre, Doak earned a ninth-place overall finish in the 800-metre classic sprints, ranking third for her age group. She also participated in the classic interval start 7.5-km event and wound up 18th.
Doak will be continuing her preparations for next month's Haywood Ski Nationals in Newfoundland by racing in the Payak at Whistler Olympic Park this weekend.
B.C. SKI TEAM RACERS EARN BEST NOR-AM RESULTS
Whistler athletes on the B.C. Ski Team recorded some career-best finishes in Nor-Am Cup speed races that took place at Mont Ste. Anne, Que., last week, including top-five finishes for Charley Field and Broderick Thompson.
Field earned her fifth-place finish in the Feb. 15 women's super combined, surpassing her previous best result on the circuit, which had come two days earlier in a seventh-place super-G finish.
Teammate Emma King skied to a ninth-place finish in downhill on Feb. 12; marking the second time in her career she had cracked a Nor-Am Cup top 10.
Thompson also posted a fifth-place result in the men's super combined on Feb. 15, while also earning some consistent finishes just outside the top 10 in downhill and super-G events earlier in the week. Fellow locals and B.C. teammates Blake Ramsden and Brodie Seger earned top-20 finishes in the combined.
Meanwhile, some locally trained B.C. Ski Team alumni were also involved in the Nor-Am set at Mont Ste. Anne, including World Cup team member Conrad Pridy, who was sixth in the week's lone men's super-G. Ford Swette placed 21st in the super combined.
WHISTLERITES POWER GLACIER KINGS TO TOP SEED
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings hold the No. 1 seed in the North Division for the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs, thanks in large part to several Whistler Minor Hockey Association products.
The team, which is coached by longtime former Whistler Winterhawks bench boss Joey Ewing, compiled a 31-14-1-2 record during the regular season to win the division. Ewing, who is also the Glacier Kings' general manager, has brought several former Winterhawks players into the fold during his first year at the helm of the club, including Jonas Horvath, Taylor Derynck, Grant Iles and Will Finlay. Squamish's Bret Higham is also on the roster, currently injured.
Iles scored and Derynck added an assist on Tuesday, Feb. 18 as the Glacier Kings opened their postseason with a 4-1 win over the Saanich Braves, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven North Division semifinal.
GYMNASTS BUSY AT MEETS ACROSS B.C.
Whistler gymnasts have been busy at various meets over the past week, including the high school Storm Troupe, which qualified five athletes through to the provincial championships.
Local athletes took three of the top four spots overall in Level 3 competition at the North Shore Invitational Meet, led by Caitlin MacConnachie's first-place finish. Hannah Peatfield finished third and Caleigh Lamont's performances put her fourth.
At Level 2, Nicole Boulanger finished fifth, while Jasmin Gebauer-Barrett was the top-placing Level 1 senior girl.
All five gymnasts will compete at the B.C. High School Provincial Championships, taking place March 6 to 8 at Nanaimo's Dover Bay Secondary School.
Whistler Gymnastics club members were also in action this week in Langley for the Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational, recording more great results.
Level 2 Novice (13- and 14-year-olds) competitor Cassia Jean was particularly impressive, earning a gold medal for her performance on the vault and a bronze in all-around competition. Leah Brownlie, who was ninth all-around, captured a silver medal on the uneven bars. Amy Ertel placed 17th in all-around scoring.
Gabby Flynn and Hailey Jackson both competed in their first Level 4 meet in Langley and performed admirably. Jackson, 11, was the top scorer on the vault and floor en route to the all-around gold. Flynn, 13, finished second overall after a first-place result in floor exercise and runner-up finishes on the bars and vault.
The club's Level 1 athletes are now preparing for a meet in Surrey in two weeks, while the older gymnasts will be headed to the provincial championships in Kelowna next month.
Meanwhile, Interclub athletes from Whistler Gymnastics won two Spirit Awards during their '80s-themed meet in Surrey over the weekend. Reece Palmer also took home a Flying Vault Award, and Emily Sargent earned a Beautiful Beam Award.
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