Jack Crawford may be in just his first year of FIS-level competition but the Whistler Mountain Ski Club product is racing like an experienced veteran.
The 16-year-old Crawford captured the overall victory during Keurig Cup racing at Lake Louise on Friday (Jan. 10), skiing to first place in a giant slalom that featured racers several years his senior. It was Crawford’s second win of the year, as he already won a super-G at Panorama before Christmas.
Crawford’s victory was the big highlight for Whistler skiers during the stop in the Rocky Mountains — which also featured another GS on Thursday (Jan. 9) and a slalom at Norquay on Sunday (Jan. 12). Crawford also posted a fourth-place result in the week’s first giant slalom before finishing 14th on Sunday.
Also reaching the podium on Friday was B.C. Ski Team member Blake Ramsden, who shared the podium with Crawford on Friday by placing third. Ramsden had a consistent week of results overall, adding a seventh-place result on Thursday and a sixth-place finish on Sunday.
Broderick Thompson was the top local in Thursday’s GS by finishing third, though the B.C. Ski Team captain was unable to complete either of the next two races. Teammate Brodie Seger posted a fifth-place finish on Thursday but also skied out of the next two.
In some other highlights among the men’s races from Alberta, Riley Seger earned the best result of his young FIS career by placing 14th on Friday, while Sam Kirshenblatt posted a pair of 19th-place finishes during the week. Alex Gershon, Max Peiffer and Cooper Yates each had at least one top-30 result from the three races.
Kelly Steeves led the local contingent in women’s racing by starting things off on the podium Thursday, finishing just one-tenth out of the lead while placing second. She also notched a fourth-place finish in Friday’s GS.
Whistler-trained skiers Mikayla Martin and Rae Swette each turned in two top-10 finishes and one 12th-place finish from the races at Lake Louise and Norquay, while Elizabeth Kepl and Rachel Vander Veen both finished in the top 20 twice. Alysia Kwong and Esme McTavish wrapped up their weekends with two top-30 finishes apiece.
Keurig Cup competition resumes in early February at Red Mountain.
U16s, U14s outstanding at home
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club was more than willing to take over the Teck Coast Zone races that were originally scheduled for Mount Washington this past weekend, but the local team’s skiers were not so willing to share the podium.
Whistler racers thrived in the snowy conditions during giant slalom racing on Saturday and GS competition on Sunday.
The U16 boys collected five of six medals up for grabs over the two days, highlighted by Max Kirshenblatt’s pair of silvers. Saturday’s GS saw the host club finish in the top six spots, with Finn Iles earning the victory, Alexander Valentin grabbing bronze and Asher Jordan, Kasper Woolley and Ciaran Beveridge finishing in the next three spots, respectively. Woolley also reached the podium in Sunday’s slalom by finishing third. Griffin Smith, Griffin Renzoni and Hugo Jamieson also notched top-10 results on the weekend.
Whistler’s U16 girls swept the podium on Saturday as well, with Katie Fleckenstein taking the top step. Laura Swaffield picked up the silver, a feat she would repeat in Sunday’s slalom, while Maggie Tuer finished third. Gabrielle Smith also earned a top-five finish on Saturday. Whistler Mountain Ski Club athletes cracking the top 10 during the weekend included Bria Henderson, Anna Gosney, Tamara Smallwood and Lucy Turner.
Both Myles Kowalczyk and Ella Renzoni were unbeatable during the weekend’s U14 races, as the Whistler skiers took gold in both Saturday’s GS and the two one-run slaloms held Sunday. Each of them shared the podium with a teammate in every race.
Kowalczyk had Jake Bennett on the podium with him in third spot Saturday, while Ethan McTavish finished with bronze in Sunday’s first race and Jack Forsyth took silver in the second race. Ethan McTavish, Dawson Yates, Eric Smith, Nathan Romanin and Jack Cormack each had multiple top-10 finishes from the three races.
In girls’ racing, Renzoni had teammate Meg Swaffield join her on the podium with a third-place finish on Saturday. Maja Woolley took runner-up honours in both slalom races on Sunday. Several more locals came close to the podium — Erin Dawson, Sierra King and Alissa Wong all netted multiple top 10s, while Haley Mitchell, Lucy Tuer and Arabella Ng each had one.
Whistler also hosted the Coast Zone U12 skills competition this weekend but results could not be compiled by press time.