Members of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) spent the past week accumulating tremendous results, led by Riley Seger’s overall victory at the U16 Can-Am Western Championships at Panorama.
Seger won both the men’s giant slalom and super-G at the three-day event to be crowned the champion. Seger shared the podium with Whistler teammate Jack Crawford in Saturday’s (March 2) super-G, as Crawford placed third for his best result of the event.
Alex Gershon also skied to a runner-up finish in the slalom held Friday (March 1) to bring home a silver medal from the event. Max Kirshenblatt was just off the podium in fourth place, giving him two top-10 results at Panorama. Jeffrey Cadman managed a ninth-place showing in the slalom, while Max Peiffer and Cooper Yates secured top-15 finishes during the event.
Whistler skiers Mikayla Martin and Stefanie Fleckenstein showed consistency at Panorama with top finishes in all three disciplines. Martin was fourth in both technical races as well as finishing seventh in super-G, while Fleckenstein’s eighth-place result in super-G closed the book on three consecutive top 15s.
A 10-member crew from the WMSC’s U16 team is now en route to Italy for the famous Topolino international youth races. Six of the 10 athletes will compete in the races while four others will be forerunners, though the skiers who will race have yet to be selected.
Team members include Seger, Crawford, Peiffer, Yates, Carson Llewellyn, Cameron Alexander, Martin, Fleckenstein, Esme McTavish and Sarah Kapur.
Field first in GS races
Pemberton’s Charley Field won back-to-back Van Houtte Cup GS races held Monday and Tuesday (March 4 and 5) at Sun Peaks.
The two victories followed top-10 finishes in slalom races staged Saturday and Sunday, and were a great way for the B.C. Ski Team member to celebrate her birthday, as she turned 18 on Monday.
“I wanted to make sure that I had good technical skiing today and it worked out,” Field said in a release after Monday’s win. “It was a bonus today to win on my birthday … it is a great birthday present.”
Rachel Vander Veen had a solid week, finishing top 10 in both slaloms as well as Tuesday’s GS. WMSC product Rae Swette notched top 10s in both disciplines, while Elizabeth Kepl was ninth in Monday’s GS.
On the men’s side, Whistler skiers and B.C. team members Ford Swette and Brodie Seger both stepped on the podium at Sun Peaks. Swette, coming off his team bronze at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships, took silver in Tuesday’s GS for his third top 10 in three days. Seger earned bronze in Saturday’s slalom and went on to top-10 results in all four races.
Broderick Thompson’s best finish was fourth on Tuesday, while Blake Ramsden reached ninth place in the event-opening slalom on Saturday.
Normally among this group, Whistler’s Kelly Steeves instead travelled to Smithers for the B.C. High School Ski Provincial Championships and looked poised to bring York House School a third-straight girls’ title. Not only did she win Monday’s slalom, she also beat the entire boys’ field. The event was set to conclude Wednesday (March 6) after press time.
WMSC dominant at Cypress
Whistler skiers collected 14 medals during U14/16 Coast Zone GS races held at Cypress on Saturday and Sunday, led by a double gold from Kasper Woolley.
Woolley won both U14 boys’ races and was able to celebrate on the podium with a teammate Finn Iles each day, as Iles captured a silver and bronze. Asher Jordan also earned silver on Sunday to make it a Whistler sweep of the top three.
Myles Kowalcyzk didn’t hit the medals but did finish in the top five in both races.
The U14 girls also occupied all podium spots after Sunday’s race, with Katie Fleckenstein, Ella Renzoni and Anna Gosney finishing one-two-three. Renzoni and Gosney had already picked up silver and bronze, respectively, the day before.
In fact, the Whistler girls held the top nine positions on Sunday. Mollie Jepsen and Alissa Wong both made the top five on the final day, while Nicole Mah placed fourth on Saturday.
In U16 racing, Amelia Smith and Bria Henderson took turns atop the girls’ podium as Smith captured top spot on Saturday and Henderson recorded a victory Sunday. Ashleigh Knight turned in two strong performances, her best a fourth-place result on Saturday.
In boys’ races, Shintoro Sekiya earned silver medals from both days of competition.