Lillooet Lake Rodeo returning 

Sports briefs: Zucht punches ticket for Ironman worlds; Whistler Nordics takes honours

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - RODEO KING Lillooet Lake Rodeo 2017 bull-riding champion Kevin Wallace with bull riding champ posing with the Rodeo event coordinators Maxine Bruce and Lois Joseph at last year's event.
  • Photo submitted
  • RODEO KING Lillooet Lake Rodeo 2017 bull-riding champion Kevin Wallace with bull riding champ posing with the Rodeo event coordinators Maxine Bruce and Lois Joseph at last year's event.

The annual Lillooet Lake Rodeo will buck back into action this weekend in some cozier digs.

According to Lil'wat Nation Chief Dean Nelson, the arena has been nearly entirely renovated, from the grandstands to the bucking chutes.

"The wooden structure that was there was taken down and changed to metal," he explained. "That's all looking really good."

Over 120 entrants are expected, though Nelson noted registration had not closed as of press time, so those numbers could grow by the time action kicks off on May 19. Competitors are expected to come from all over B.C. to test their skills.

Competition starts at 1 p.m. each day with novice events on May 19 and open events on May 20 and 21.

The weekend will also include a powwow, amongst other family-friendly events.

"We invite everybody from the corridor to come down," Nelson said.

For more information, visit the Lillooet Lake Rodeo Grounds page on Facebook.

Zucht punches ticket for Ironman Worlds

Local triathlete Marla Zucht qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii once again.

Zucht posted a third-place finish in her 45-to-49 age category at Ironman Santa Rosa in California by finishing in 10 hours, 46 minutes and 31 seconds (10:46:31). Zucht was thrilled not only to punch her ticket to worlds, but also to smash her goal by over 13 minutes in her 11th Ironman overall.

"I had a goal of breaking 11 hours for the race, so I was very happy, and frankly a little surprised, that I had the finishing time of 10:46, which is my best overall Ironman finish time. It was a competitive field with some (former) pros in my age category but I stayed focused on my race plan and felt like I executed it very well," Zucht wrote in an email.

Even more impressively, she conquered the 30-degree heat even though she had barely transitioned out of a long, chilly winter here in the corridor.

"I was a little concerned that I did not yet have the outside training volume in given the long winter we had in Whistler. Almost all of my bike training was done indoors over the winter at the TaG Cycling studio and with the Whistler Tri Club early-morning pool sessions. I had not completed any open water wetsuit swims yet and had only recently swapped my skate-ski sessions for longer runs. But I came down to California to race with heaps of excitement to see a new area and race the course with friends," Zucht noted.

Zucht plans to race Subaru Ironman Canada in July as a warmup for Kona.

Whistler Nordics receives honours

Whistler Nordics will close the books on 2017-18 with plenty of hardware in its cabinets.

The club retained its crown as the best small club in Canada based on total points, besting Kimberley Nordics and New Brunswick's Les Aventuriers. Whistler won the overall title for the third year in a row, but still saw its athletes make significant gains, as it also took second in the progression-in-athlete-performance category behind Quebec's Club Dorval d'Alma.

Whistler's points in both categories were based on the performances of development team athletes Michael Murdoch, Joe Davies, Benita Peiffer, Mila Wittenberg and Marlie Molinaro and international skier Lucie Colin.

The awards will be given out in June at Cross Country Canada's annual general meeting.

At the end of the season, Molinaro was nominated to the B.C. Development Team while the four other development athletes were nominated for the provincial team. Peiffer was also nominated to the junior national development team for both cross country and biathlon.

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