WSSF Week 2 on tap 

Sports briefs: WMSC athletes make Team BC; Ironman discussing extension; Gymnasts shine

FILE PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Taking flight The second edition of the Gibbons Style Session will run this Saturday, April 15 at 9 p.m. in Skier's Plaza.
  • File photo by Dan Falloon
  • Taking flight The second edition of the Gibbons Style Session will run this Saturday, April 15 at 9 p.m. in Skier's Plaza.

The World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) has plenty on tap for the second weekend of action in 2017.

Even with the Whistler Cup already packing the resort, the WSSF will draw its share of eyeballs for its big events this weekend.

The Monster Energy Boarderstyle Tour Finals, a combination of boarder-cross and big air, will take place in the Blackcomb Terrain Park with timed runs on Friday, April 14. Finals take place on Saturday, April 15 at 1:30 p.m.

For the lighter side of competition, the Twisted Tea Slush Cup is a go for April 14 at 11:30 a.m. Competitors will look to cross the pond on skis, snowboards, or "other props/vessels," according to the WSSF site. Prizes up for grabs include best trick, best costume and best wipe-out.

On April 15, the second Halfpipe Fam Jam, the brainchild of Olympians Mercedes Nicoll and Dominique Vallee, will encourage the skiing and snowboarding communities to come together from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And the Gibbons Style Session will return as teams with one skier and one snowboarder combine to do their best tricks in front of a cheering Whistler Village crowd at Skier's Plaza. The winning men's team will receive $8,000 while the top women will get $4,000. The best "team effort" will take $1,000. The event will kick off at 9 p.m. to put a cap on the day's festivities.

WMSC athletes make Team BC

Whistler Mountain Ski Club athletes will play a major role in Team BC's success at this weekend's Whistler Cup.

For the men, WMSC racers Nathan Romanin and Kieran Harley will join Red Mountain's Heiko Ihns on BC 1, while BC 2 is made up of Apex's Isaac Athans, Grouse Mountain's Phillip Mooder and Sun Peaks' Beckett Hooton.

As for the women, WMSC's Maja Woolley and Julia Ross will link up with Fernie's Charlize Street on BC 1, while fellow Whistler competitors Una Brudar and Alexandra Chartrand will be on BC 2 with Lauren Koper of the Black Dogs.

The lone BC athlete on Team Canada is Vernon's Gerrit Van Soest. Alberta sent eight representatives, Quebec added seven and Ontario provided two.

Racing will begin Thursday, April 13 with U16 super-G, while Friday, April 14 will see U16 giant slalom, U14 ladies slalom and U14 men's dual slalom. Saturday, April 15 will see the U16 athletes tackle the slalom, while the U14 men will complete the giant slalom and the U14 women will take on the giant slalom. The week will wrap on Sunday, April 16 with the U16 team event, the U14 men's slalom and U14 women's giant slalom.

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Ironman still discussing extension

Ironman, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and Tourism Whistler hosted a meeting discussing both the past and the future of the Subaru Ironman Canada at the Rainbow Theatre on April 4.

"We had good questions on what's happened in the past and how we can move forward," said senior regional manager Keats McGonigal. "It felt like it was a good chance to provide the local community with the chance to raise questions, talk about what the updates were for this year."

With the five-year contract between the three parties set to finish after this July's race, McGonigal said discussions are still ongoing.

"We're hoping to have another great year and hopefully many more to come," he said. "We're still in the process of discussions with Tourism Whistler and the RMOW but I think everybody is hopeful that the partnership we've got is strong and is going to be able to continue for years to come."

Tourism Whistler president and CEO Barrett Fisher said hosting the meeting was part of the process of how best to carry on the event in future years.

"Those are some of the discussions that we're still having," she said. "Part of that was reaching out to the communities to get their feedback as well as just really understanding from Ironman, did it work for them? Are there any things we would do differently moving forward?" she said. "Our goal would be to look at hosting the event longer-term."

Both Fisher and McGonigal said roughly 30 to 40 people attended.

Gymnasts star at provincials

Whistler Gymnastics performed well at the Provincial Championships in Port Coquitlam from April 7 to 9.

In the Level 6 division, Sofia Wright (2007) provided the weekend's top moment, winning the gold medal on the floor while taking eighth on the beam and 12th all-around. Anna Prohaska (2003) was third on the beam, fifth on both the bars and floor and fourth all-around while fellow 2003 Tessa Juniper took sixth on the bars and was ninth all-around. As for 2005 competitors, Andrea Vazquez-Vela was fifth on the vault, seventh on the beam and eighth all-around, while Téa Cousineau took a best result of 11th on the bars, Gabbi Collins' best was 14th on the beam and Sophie Firth's was 22nd on the floor.

Level-7 athlete, Katie Faerge (2002) won the silver all-around on the strength of second on the bars and second on the beam, while Ayva Spierings (2002) took third on the beam and 12th all-around. Meanwhile, Mali Forest (2004) took a best finish of 10th on the floor.

Warm jumps in rankings

In the final release of NHL Central Scouting's Draft Prospect Rankings on April 11, Whistler's Will Warm made a jump in scouts' eyes.

After sitting at 154th among North American skaters in the midterm rankings, the Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman ended the year in 134th.

In his first WHL season, Warm, who will turn 18 on April 22, tallied nine goals and 15 assists while also racking up 72 penalty minutes.

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Chicago on June 23 and 24.



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