Sports briefs: Local youth skiers show their skills

Nancy Greene League, ski cross competition keeps young racers busy

Many of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club's U12 racers have been in action on their home mountains over the past two weekends, starting with Nancy Greene Ski League competition on Jan. 12.

The host club's skiers were among more than 200 who participated in five events - a "glalom" (hybrid GS/slalom), the speed trap, spiess (quick jumps), skate circuit and push start.

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The fastest athletes in the speed trap broke the 70 km/h mark in both boys' and girls' competition. Jamie Border was the fastest local girl, hitting 72 on the speedometer, while Penelope Hughes, Tara Brudar, Vera Bulowski, Alexandra Chartrand, Gabriella Novak and Tracey Philp each clocked in at 71 km/h. At 73 km/h, Skylar Beauregard was the quickest male, while Tait Jordan, Ethan Shandro and Graham Seltzer reached 72 km/h.

Beauregard also had an impressive skate circuit result, placing third, while fellow locals Jack Morrow, David Lee and Brendan Moss finished in the top 10. Jaden Dawson of the Whistler team finished third in the girls' event, with teammates Bulowski, Chartrand, Hughes and Brudar joining her in the top 10.

In the spiess, which sees skiers try to execute as many jump-turns as possible in one minute, Brudar beat all female competitors with a total of 47. Lee was the boys' champ after competing 52 jump-turns. In the push start event, the top local racers were Bulowski and Jordan in the boys' and girls' competitions, respectively.

Whistler skiers then dominated the glalom, the closest thing to a traditional race on the program. In the boys' event, Shandro was the winner and joined on the podium by teammate Matthias Shorter in third. Seltzer, David Wood, Alexander Katrusiak, Jackson Ferguson and Jonathan Chartrand earned top-10 finishes. For the girls, it was Alexandra Chartrand on top, with fellow Whistler skiers Freya Jumonville, Dawson, Hughes and Madeline Wong all tied for third. Danica Boucher, Una Brudar and Bulowski reached the top 10.

Snow cross races busy

Skiers up to age 13 from clubs all over the province were welcomed to the Blackcomb Snow Cross Track this past weekend, with Sunday's (Jan. 19) heats wrapping things up.

Sierra King took top spot in the girls' 12 to 13 age group, hanging on to beat Erin Dawson for first place. In the boys' division, the winner was Jake Bennett, who had Jack Forsyth finish behind him in the runner-up spot.

Tait Jordan skied to a victory in the 11-year-old boys' group, beating out Ethan Shandro to the line. John Nicolls was the 10-year-old boys' winner, with Matthias Shorter placing second. The 10 and 11-year-old girls raced together, with Alexandra Chartrand earning the win ahead of Jaden Dawson.

The final age groups, for nine-year-olds, saw Sam Fuller (boys) and Kaila Lafreniere (girls) finish on top. Milan Novak and Sarah Stiel earned runner-up honours in the boys' and girls' races, respectively.

The snow cross track will be put back into action on Feb. 22 and 23. Check out to register, or see more results from this past weekend.

Local lugers solid in Germany

Pemberton's Jenna Spencer raced to an eighth-place finish when making her first-ever start at the junior women's level in Junior World Cup luge competition on Sunday at Königssee, Germany.

Spencer sat seventh after the opening run but fell back one spot on the second heat to place eighth. Her two-run time left her 1.846 seconds back of the German winner. Spencer was the day's top-placing North American.

Whistler's Reid Watts was also on hand at Königssee to make his Junior World Cup debut, finishing 10th in youth A men's competition. Fellow Sea to Sky sliders Adam Shippit and Nicky Klimchuk-Brown finished 17th and 18th, respectively, in the same race held Saturday (Jan. 18).

The local lugers will stay in Germany this week for another race at Oberhof, which will be the final stop on the Junior World Cup tour. The Junior World Championships take place the following weekend at Igls, Austria.

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