WMSC competitors medal in Washington state 

Kowalczyk, Renzoni strong at Mission Ridge

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Runner up Myles Kowalczyk (left) earned two silver medals in slalom at Mission Ridge, Wash. on the weekend.
  • Photo submitted
  • Runner up Myles Kowalczyk (left) earned two silver medals in slalom at Mission Ridge, Wash. on the weekend.

Some of Whistler Mountain Ski Club's FIS competitors headed down south to compete in Washington state over the weekend.

Myles Kowalczyk and Ella Renzoni both had new hardware to declare at the border as Kowalczyk snagged two slalom silvers and Renzoni took one in the giant slalom at Mission Ridge.

"I put together two good runs and this is the time of the season we're supposed to be peaking, so it was just awesome to do well there," Renzoni said.

Given that the GS is her favourite event, Renzoni was thrilled to find her way onto a step.

"It was great to grab a podium for that," she said. "I was really clean from turn to turn. There was no scrub at the top of the turn. It was Whistler conditions so it felt like I was at home. It gave us an advantage on the field."

Kowalczyk spoke of getting in a happy mindset and ensuring he was doing his best in a bit of an unfamiliar environment.

"It's a small local resort. There's no restaurants or hotels or anything," he said. "It's the complete opposite of what I'm used to, but I kind of like it like that."

"There was no one from the public up there, so it was just the racers in the lodge so it was a good atmosphere," Renzoni added.

Kowalczyk explained he was challenged on the courses, but embraced the chance to figure them out and make the best of them.

"The GS courses were super open and straight most of the time and the GS hill was really mellow, so you have to go all out," he said. "If you're a little tentative, you could be a second slower."

In addition to the atmosphere, Kowalczyk added the races were compressed compared to Canadian events, even with an average-sized field in Washington.

"You'd be done a day of racing by 12 o'clock. Both genders would be done whereas sometimes in Canada, when we're racing, you only leave the hill at 4 o'clock, so that was pretty awesome," he said. "I look at it as an advantage because you inspect the course and then do your runs in a half an hour so it's fresh in your mind and you haven't over-thought anything.

"You get that run done and go to the lodge for a bit and then inspect the second course and ski that course in half an hour. It's way less stressful in away. It's more like training."

Both are set to do Whistler's spring series beginning next week as they wrap their rookie FIS seasons, and Renzoni said hers has gone better than expected.

"I'm fairly pleased with the season this year. I wasn't expecting much for the first year of FIS, so this is a great outcome," she said.

Kosta Petkovic hit three top 10s with a best finish of fourth, while Kasper Woolley also made the top 10 twice. Dawson Yates was in the top 15 twice while Masashi Tsutsumi, Shou Tatsuzuki and Trenton Swift also attended.

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