Whistler’s Momentum Ski Camps has selected 15-year-old Carly Lavielle as this year’s recipient of the Spirit of Sarah Scholarship in memory of late Momentum coach Sarah Burke.
The Orangeville, Ont., skier was a runner-up for the honour when it was first awarded last year. She composed an original song about Burke as part of her entry this year, and will receive a free week of instruction from Momentum in July as she continues to develop her skills in slopestyle and halfpipe.
Lavielle has been a Momentum camper three times before and it was Burke who taught her to land her first 360, said a camp press release. In addition to the free week at Momentum, the Sarah Burke Foundation will also provide $500 towards her travel expenses.
“Sarah Burke is the main reason I am where I am today,” Lavielle said in the release. “She always had this inspiring smile on her face and it brought out the best in people. One of the most important things Sarah taught me is how to believe in myself and how never to give up, no matter what.”
The panel of judges made a unanimous selection for the award, which was created in Burke’s honour after she died tragically in a training accident in 2012. Burke spent 15 years with Momentum as either a camper or coach and has been an inspiration for young female skiers around the globe.
“It’s been really inspiring to see what a wide impact Sarah has had on these young women, many of whom never met her,” said Momentum director John Smart of viewing this year’s applications. “Carly’s presentation truly captured the spirit of Sarah, (which is) reflected in her own personality. She was fortunate to have connected with her in person and was clearly deeply influenced by her.”
Betties prepare for next bout
Whistler’s Black Diamond Betties will put their undefeated home record on the line next Saturday (June 1) when they host the ‘One Night Standoff’ roller derby bout against the Haney Hooligans of Pitt Meadows.
The match-up will be the Betties’ first official home bout following their thrilling, come-from-behind victory over Squamish’s Sea to Sky Sirens during last month’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival demo bout.
“It was a wonderful experience,” Betties captain Lori ‘Princess Slayah’ O’Hare in a press release of their recent victory over the Sirens. “Many of our rookies skated in a bout for the first time and we were extremely pleased with the turnout.
“We promise a great bout on June 1 and we won’t disappoint our growing fan base.”
Nearly 800 screaming spectators filled the Whistler Conference Centre for the April bout, the debut of flat track roller derby in the resort. Next weekend’s match will take place at Meadow Park Sports Centre while the arena ice is removed for maintenance.
Advance tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Hempire, the Whistler Brewing Co. or any team member. Admission at the door will be $15, with the venue opening at 6:30 p.m. and the bout scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Alpine Canada unveils teams
There were few surprises when Alpine Canada announced its men’s and women’s national team rosters on May 16 for the 2013-14 season, which include five returning skiers from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club.
Veteran team members Mike Janyk, Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Robbie Dixon are all back on the team alongside Whistler brothers Conrad and Morgan Pridy. Dixon will be on a comeback year after missing all of last season due to injury, and all five will be hoping to make an impact in an Olympic year.
A total of 23 racers were named to the team, though just six of them will round out the women’s squad. The men’s team has brought in two new coaches, with former Swiss coach Martin Rufener taking over as head coach and Italy’s Max Carca being selected to lead Janyk and the technical team.
Meanwhile, Whistler product Ford Swette was named to Alpine Canada’s development team for the upcoming winter. The 20-year-old veteran of the B.C. Ski Team showed tremendous potential last season, capturing two Nor-Am Cup podiums, including his first career win, and a team relay bronze medal at the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships.
Crud 2 Mud returns
The Crud 2 Mud Downhill returns to Whistler Mountain on Sunday (May 26) to celebrate the seasonal overlap with a combined ski/snowboard and downhill mountain bike race.
Competitors in the event step into their bindings at the top of Whistler and race down to where the snow gives way to dirt. Racers then make a transition onto a bike and continue on down through the Whistler Mountain Bike Park to the finish.
The event can be completed solo or as a two-person team. Registration can be completed at www.whistlerbike.com until 2 p.m. on Saturday (May 25).
“Spring time in Whistler means we get the best of both worlds; we can ski and bike on the same day,” said Seb Fremont, Whistler Blackcomb events supervisor, in a press release. “The Crud 2 Mud course is shaping up perfectly with all the hot weather we have seen and is definitely going to put Whistler’s best multi-sport athletes to the test.”
The event is open to racers aged 13 and up and is recommended for intermediate to advanced riders. Costumes are encouraged.
Local tennis teams on top
Local teams were among the winners during the Scandinave Spa Masters Doubles Tennis Tournament held this past weekend at the Whistler Racquet Club.
The local duo of Walter Wallgram and Roman Seidler knocked off Vancouver’s Mike Melenchuk and Steve Platt to win the men’s 45-plus division. Meanwhile, the Whistler club’s Diane Hanna and Ian Pike defeated Bianca Scheirer and Marc Eckardt from Vancouver for the mixed 100 (combined age minimum) victory.
Scheirer teamed up with Cynthia Whyte to win the women’s 45-plus event. Jean Haldene and Vicki Salter were the winners in the women’s 55-plus tournament. Finally, Allan Lawry and Louie Dapavo took top spot in men’s 55-plus competition.
Following a three-year hiatus, the annual tournament returned this year with 40 participants.
Track athletes reach provincials
Several Whistler Secondary School athletes have qualified for the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships that will take place May 31 and June 1 in Langley.
Cassidy Deane is headed to provincials to compete in senior girls’ high jump, while Danielle McCaffrey qualified to compete in senior girls’ triple jump.
Whistler’s Lauren Doak will go to the big meet to race steeplechase and 1,500 m, while Jewel George will represent the school in the hammer throw and shot put.
Several more Whistler track athletes were competing at Wednesday’s (May 22) Vancouver and District Championships, but results were not available at press time.
In other sports news from the school, official results from the May 15 North Shore Mountain Bike League finals were not fully available, but a few Whistler riders captured season titles.
Stephanie Denroche won the bantam girls’ (Grade 8) division, Georgia Astle finished first in the junior girls’ (Grade 10) category and the senior girls’ (Grade 11 and 12) title belonged to Jennifer McTavish. Jewel George also ended the season as the third-ranked junior rider.
The provincial championships will take place in Port Moody on Saturday (May 25).