Sports Briefs: Showcase Showdown turns 15 

Urban skateboard-themed slopestyle course set on Whistler Mountain

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - How bout that? A Kishindo-Whistler students shows off his Tiger Balm Invitational medal.
  • photo submitted
  • How bout that? A Kishindo-Whistler students shows off his Tiger Balm Invitational medal.

The 15th annual Showcase Showdown is now one of Canada's longest running snowboard competitions, if not the longest, with events that are always designed to reflect what riders are into and challenge them to step up a level.

This year's contest took place at the base of Whistler Mountain, with an urban skateboard-themed slopestyle course featuring a 13-metre hip channel jump, a spine box and a rail feature.

The event kicked off with the Vans Riders Waffle Breakfast at 10 a.m. at Showcase Snowboards. Practice and qualifying rounds took place from noon to 4 p.m. with a Forum Double Dog Barbecue for athletes and spectators during the day. The finals ran from 5 p.m., to 6 p.m., followed by the official after-party at Merlin's. $5,000 in cash is up for grabs this year, as well as prizes from Sandbox and Dakine.

Sea to Sky Eagles recruiting for rugby league

The Sea to Sky Eagles Rugby League Football Club is gearing up for its second season, which will get underway on May 13 this year.

Before then, the club is inviting players and prospective players to take part in a trials game in Vancouver on Sunday, April 1. The top players will be invited to try out for the B.C. Bulldogs for the 2012 season, and possibly the Canada Wolverines. Jamie Lester, the captain of the Wolverines, will be watching the trials looking for talent.

The trials are open to anyone and take place at 10:30 a.m. at Sullivan Heights Secondary School in Surrey.

The league is open to anyone, whether they're residents of Canada or not.

As well as promoting the trials, the Sea to Sky Eagles are starting to recruit for the upcoming season and held their first practice in Squamish last Sunday. For more information contact team director Ally Mac at allym@canadarugbyleague.com.

You don't need rugby league experience or even rugby union experience to try out. Rugby league is a variation of rugby that emphasizes tackles and playmaking over possession.

There are several differences from the sport of rugby union: there are a fewer players on the field (13 instead of 15); there are no scrums or line-outs; and there are limits on possession — each team can be tackled and taken to the ground with the ball six times before they lose possession. There's very little kicking during play because that creates an opportunity for a turnover and loss of possession. Passing and tackling are crucial, as is having a good kicker to convert scores and penalties, and add the occasional drop goal.

It terms of scoring, touching the ball in the other teams try zone is worth four points, a conversion or penalty is worth two points and a drop-goal is worth one point.

Routley fine after crash

After managing a fifth place result on the first stage of the Coppi e Bartali road race in Italy, Will Routley had bad luck. A flat on the second day knocked him back in the general classification and then on the third day he made a tactical error by attacking too early on the main climb and then getting dropped.

Still, he was confident heading to Belgium for the three Days of De Panne race, which takes place on a mix of roads and cobblestone streets.

"If we can stay safe and out of trouble for the first half of the race, then it sounds like my kind of day," he wrote in his blog, willroutley.tumblr.com.

Unfortunately he didn't manage to stay out of trouble. He hit a rock early on the first day and fell.

"Luckily no serious injuries," he wrote. "I have some cuts and road rash but it's all superficial, and I'll be back at it right away at the next race. The lousy part is I was on a really good day. But, sometimes things don't always go according to plan, and fortunately there are many more days ahead."

Gymnasts, trampolinists win provincial medals

Members of the Whistler Gymnastics Storm Troupe high school team headed to Burnaby earlier this month for the provincial championships.

Keeley Wentzel led the team, competing at Level 4. She won a gold medal on the bars and placed fourth on vault and floors to finish fifth all around. Also in Level 4, Rebecca Flynn placed seventh on vault and ninth on bars to place 12th, while Carly Mann was sixth on bars and floor to place 18th. In Level 3, Charlotte Mahoney placed fourth on beam and seventh on vault to rank 10th all around. Jasmin Budge placed fifth on floor and placed 16th, while Christina Saldat and Ellie Krasny were 21st and 23rd.

The provincial artistic championships are from April 12 to 14 in Vancouver. Seven athletes from the club qualified at a trials competition earlier in the year.

In only the club's second year hosting a competitive trampoline program, the team had an amazing showing at provincials in Kelowna recently. Joe Davies and Archie Mahoney were first in Synchro Trampoline, while Mahoney also won the Double Mini competition. Davies was fifth in double mini.

In the individual event, Davies placed fourth in Level C, while Mahoney was fifth in Level B.

Kishindo athletes in medals at Tiger Balm Invitational

Members of the Kishindo-Whistler Martial Arts Centre made the trip to the Tiger Balm Invitational tournament at Capilano University on the March 16 weekend, with athletes competing in a variety of different categories.

For the first time the club had three adults compete in the padded weapon sparring category. Kishindo members used swords, but you could also use staffs, nunchukus, meteor (weights on a chain), shields or tonfa (like a policeman's nightstick), with competitors scoring points based on the number of hits scored in two minutes.

Local artist Chili Thom lost a close one 5-4. Davin Peterson was third in the Over 35 group with a record of 1-1 in two bouts, and James Abrams also won a bronze with a 1-1 record.

Kanta Onishi, the only black belt competing for Kishindo, led the young members of the club with gold medals in point fighting and continuous fighting, was third in Kata (forms) and fifth in continuous fighting against all belts.

In continuous fighting the athletes fight for a set amount of time, while point sparring is a scored match where the bout stops and resets after each point is scored.

Ethan Donohoe was second in 6 and Under continuous fighting and fifth in point sparring.

Oscar van Dongen was first in continuous fighting (no face contact) and third in point sparring with a 1-1 record.

Macy Kercher was third in continuous fighting and fourth in point fighting.

Jamie Tait was fourth in his Katas, while his brother was second in continuous and fifth in point.

Sensei Cole Manson thanked Master Dawn Lafebvre at Whistler Taekwondo for letting the Kishindo athletes join their classes and spar to prepare for the tournament, and for training together over March Break.

For the record

In our report from the K1 provincials two weeks ago, we listed Whistler Mountain Ski Club athlete Emma King as finishing 11th in the women's ski cross race. It was actually Sierra King from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club.

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