Sports briefs 

Pettit adds 'Cold Rush' to Linecatchers title

Local freeskier Sean Pettit, 18, added another title to his growing collection last week with a win at the Red Bull Cold Rush competition at Silverton, Colorado.

Like Red Bull Linecatchers in Europe, Cold Rush is a big mountain competition with a freeskiing bent, as riders take park moves to the natural terrain, and a few park stunts are added as well for good measure.

Pettit skied well all three days, but set himself apart with a 360-spin off a 70-foot drop. "That might have been the biggest I've ever gone off a cliff," Pettit told Newschoolers ( after his run.

Whistler's Alex Prochazka also took part in the event to rave reviews. He also had the scariest moment on day three when he launched a backflip of an 80-footer and snagged his ski on a tree 60-feet up. His ski popped off and he dropped head-first into the powder below, but he was okay.

Joining Pettit on the podium were Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Dane Tudor. Local skier Dave Treadway placed fourth, Alex Prochazka was 13th and Pemberton's Logan Pehota 14th.

Grete Eliassen was the top female, followed by Shelly Robertson and Michelle Parker.


Slo-pitch umpire workshop scheduled

If you like being outside and the game of baseball, the Whistler Slo-Pitch League is looking for some new umpires to step up this year.

Richard Mingotti, umpire-in-chief for the league, expects 10 to 12 umpires to return from last season, but thinks he'll need up to four more umpires for this season.

A knowledge of the game is essential, and all umpires - including the current group - are taking a refresher course on April 16, led by the deputy umpire in chief for British Columbia. The course is from 9 a.m. to the early afternoon at the Chamois le Boutique Hotel at the base of Blackcomb. The cost is $75 per person, but the league is covering the cost.

A league umpire can make $29 per game. Thick skin is an asset, and so is knowing the rules of the game.

"Umpiring is fun until something happens," said Mingotti. "That's when a knowledge of the rules of baseball really helps you."

There will be at least five slo-pitch leagues this season, and most likely a sixth as well. There's been some talk, said Mingotti, about getting rid of the sixth league this year and hosting separate men's and women's leagues, although he doesn't know if that will happen.

Mingotti said new umpires generally start in the entry leagues, E and F, and work their way up to the more competitive A and B games.

For more information, visit


Team Whistler gets in two more road races

Members of Team Whistler headed south last weekend for two more Escape Velocity Spring Series races. The first race was a 110 km road race in Abbotsford, with three tough hill climbs on each of the three laps.

There were 70 riders in the co-ed "B" classification.

According to the race report, over half the field was out of it by the end of the sixth lap, and more riders were dropped every time the field reached the final climb. There were about 20 racers in the pace on the last lap, which separated on the final climb. Tony Routley hung in for 10th place overall, while Mike Boehm placed 16th.

The following day another 60-plus B riders showed up for a 15-lap, 107 km road race near the U.S.-Canada border.

Trevor Hopkins stayed with the lead group until the end and managed a fifth place finish as more than 20 riders made the final sprint to the finish. Brandi Heisterman placed 15th overall.

For more on Team Whistler, visit


Gymnastics club hosting drop-in days

The Whistler Gymnastics Club is getting ready to start its new Family Open Gym sessions, starting this Sunday, April 3. The 10-week program will run 10 weeks from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Easter Sunday.

The program is open for kids aged 6 to 13 (Grade 1 to 7) and the admission is $12 per child. If kids are not members of the club taking part in other programs there's also a one-time Gymnastics B.C. insurance fee of $15. Parents can drop their kids off, or join in although they also need to obtain insurance.

The gym includes a foam pit, tumble track, two in-ground trampolines, a double-mini tramp, a full spring floor and all kinds of other equipment. There won't be any instruction, but gym coaches will be on hand to supervise.

There are a few safety rules. Participants are not allowed to flip unless they get the permission from a Level 2 coach. No double flips are permitted.

Participants should also wear proper gym attire, and no food is allowed in the gym.

The drop-in program was made available through a community program development grant from Legacies Now. If there's enough interest from the community the program will be extended for the future.

Also new is a Passtime Trampoline program, which will run Thursday and Friday from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. A five-time pass is $60, and spaces are limited - first come, first served - from March 31 to June 17. This program is for 16 and up, and insurance is also required. You should wear the proper clothing, plus socks.

No experience is necessary, and a certified trampoline coach will be on hand to work on your skills.

Last, but not least, Whistler Gymnastics is launching a new "baby gym" program for kids aged six months to 18 months. The program needs six kinds to run.

The program is for crawlers and walkers, and will use a variety of colourful equipment for that age group.

For more information, visit or call 604-902-FLIP (3547).


Cross-country season winding down, sort of

April 10 is the final day of cross-country skiing at both Lost Lake and Whistler Olympic Park, although Callaghan Country - which operated with the Olympic Park as Ski Callaghan through the season - will be open until May 8 with lots of snow still in the low alpine.

Brad Sills, owner and operator of Callaghan Country, said the conditions are the best they've been in the mornings with cold temperatures at night freezing the tracks.

"There's lots of snow and it's probably some of the best skiing of the season in the mornings," he said."

There are a few events remaining this season as well.

The Woppet will take place on Saturday, April 9 at Ski Callaghan, with course lengths ranging from 7.5 km to 30 km. It's a free technique race for the longer distances, although there will be a classic track set for the 7.5 km route.

The Callaghan Winter Sports Club is hosting the event, and online registration is available until Wednesday, Apr. 6 at Race day registration is also available from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. for an extra $10.

The 30 km Quest race is $40 ($50 on race day), the 15 km Challenge is $40 ($50 on race day) and 7.5 km Cruiser is $25 ($35 on race day). A barbecue lunch is included with registration.

The Woppet also includes the second annual "Pole and Pedal" race, joining forces with the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association Toonie race for that week. For more information visit

The other event on the calendar is the Benchmark Series "Spring Fling" on April 30. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event, and the skiers get underway at 9 a.m. at the base area. From there, skiers follow a 13.5 km uphill route to the Callaghan Lodge, with a free barbecue available from noon to 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for a lift ticket ($5 for children and youth) if you register in advance at

This is not a race, although you're welcome to time yourself.


Mom's Mountain Classic goes western

It's not Mother's Day, but it's the next best thing. On April 7, Whistler Blackcomb is bringing back its Mom's Mountain Classic race. This year's event will follow a western theme.

The event is open to skiing and snowboarding moms of all ages, and registration includes a morning coffee, race practice, a match-time race, a lunch coupon and an after-party. It also includes a 25 per cent discount for the day to Whistler Kids for moms who pre-register.

The match-time race is two runs through a giant slalom course. After your second run you try to guess your time, based on what your time was your first time down the course.

The cost is $45 in advance at Guest Relations, going up to $55 on race day. You also need to have a lift ticket or pass to participate.


Final Park Riders Sessions slopestyle on April 10

All good things must come to an end. The same goes for awesome things as well. April 10 is last Park Riders Sessions presented by Telus of the season, with an all ages ski and snowboard slopestyle on Whistler Mountain.

Early registration is $29, although day-of-race registration is available until 9:45 a.m. at the Roundhouse for $35.

Helmets are mandatory and mouth guards recommended. Minors also need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian to take part.



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