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Whistler Freeride Club sends nine to the podium in Revelstoke

Lukas Bennett, Josie Cooper win gold at IFSA Junior 2 Regional

Whistler Freeride Club athletes distinguished themselves from March 9 to 11 at the IFSA Junior 2 Regional event, achieving nine podium finishes in Revelstoke.

Lukas Bennett and Josie Cooper each won their respective age categories as Whistlerites accounted for 26 top-10 results among 119 competitiors. 

Bennett led a Sea to Sky podium sweep in the age 15-18 boys competition, breaking through with a score of 35.43. Fellow Whistler skiers Kieran Ferguson (34.17) and David Peatfield (33.97) finished second and third.

The other champion, Cooper, made her mark in the U12 girls contest, besting runner-up Lilla Honig and third-place athlete Bryn Eyben of Revelstoke. Charli Rinzema of Whistler placed fifth. 

"Josie has been skiing since she was three years old, and she has been in Whistler all her life," said Cooper's grandfather, John. "Her parents are both accomplished skiers and bikers. Josie and her nine-year-old sister, Heidi, are now following in their footsteps." 

"When we saw the results, Grandma Connie and I were obviously very proud, but it was great to see how well so many of the Whistler team [members] did," John continued. "The coaches are preparing the athletes not just for the sport, but for life, managing risk, failure and ultimately success. 

"It was heartwarming that some of the older athletes were giving tips to the younger athletes as well."

Meanwhile, Drea Dimma (31.47) edged out her fellow Whistlerite Kayla Constantini (31.37) for second in the age 15-18 girls category. Constantini did secure third as Lucy Leishman prevailed for the Whitewater Freeride Team out of Nelson (32.57). 

Whistler Freeride skiers also finished two through five among girls aged 12 to 14. Regan Beattie led the way in second, followed by Brooke Stebelski's third as Luella Jones and Freya Turner ended up fourth and fifth. 

The ninth and final Whistlerite podium went to Owen White, who locked up a silver medal of his own in contention against U12 boys. Grey Buchanan had a solid performance also: fourth in his inaugural competitive outing. 

Full results are available on the LiveHeats website.