Having already posted some wins, some career-best results and even getting some World Cup experience, Whistler’s skiers on the men’s B.C. Ski Team are off to a tremendous start to the season.
While Blake Ramsden is just getting back to action as he returns from a knee injury, the three other Whistler Mountain Ski Club products on the roster — Broderick Thompson, Ford Swette and Brodie Seger — all have some memorable moments from the first few weeks of the winter.
Seger got an opportunity to forerun the men’s World Cup speed races at Lake Louise on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 24 and 25), and leading out the world’s best racers gave him a taste of where he’d like to get to in his career.
“It was amazing. It was such a cool experience,” Seger said Tuesday (Nov. 27) from Calgary. “The only event I’ve seen like that is the Olympics, and to actually be one of the forerunners coming down with the crowd all around you — that was so cool.
“I definitely made up my mind that that’s where I want to be. It’s such an awesome feeling when you get down and everyone’s cheering for you.”
Now in his second year with the team, Seger is coming off a 2011-12 season in which he won the J1 Canadian super-G title while also making his first Nor-Am Cup starts.
“Last year was kind of a feel-it-out experience with Nor-Ams and I think this year is going to be a little better,” he said. “I’ll have some better start positions and I’m ready to attack it.”
Swette has already stood atop a podium this season, winning the U.S. National Junior giant slalom title at Copper Mountain, Colo., on Nov. 19. He’s currently Canada’s highest-ranked GS skier under 20 years of age and will be looking for more strong performances in the discipline as the season rolls on.
“I was pretty happy with that,” said Swette, who was nearly a full second ahead of the next finisher. “Because it’s the first couple races of the season, it’s always a question of how fast you’re skiing because you don’t have anything to gauge it against.”
Swette competed in slalom at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Italy last season and the 19-year-old hopes to do more than just qualify again for this year’s worlds in Quebec.
“I want to win the world junior GS this year … and a Nor-Am GS title would be really nice,” Swette said when asked for his season goals.
Thompson had a breakthrough on Tuesday when he finished in the points of a Nor-Am Cup for the first time, finishing 26th in slalom at Aspen, Colo., despite starting 78th.
“I feel really good with my skiing right now and I’m confident in every discipline,” said Thompson. “I’m excited for the season.”
Thompson is also hopeful to make it to junior worlds this year, and he’ll need to continue skiing strong to earn a spot on the Canadian roster.
Swette is now training at Panorama, where Nor-Am technical races are slated for mid-December. Seger, who flew Tuesday to meet with the rest of the team at Copper Mountain, and Thompson will be involved in the Nor-Am speed races that will get underway for men on Wednesday (Dec. 5).