Whistler skiers rack up medals at home

Locals record podium finishes by the dozens in Timber Tour, Super Youth contests

The podium was a popular place for skiers from the Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Club, who racked up the medals at home during the long weekend.

Whistler hosted a B.C. Timber Tour and Super Youth Challenge event featuring three days of competitions that wrapped up Monday (Feb. 11). Local skiers were especially dominant in the Super Youth divisions, sweeping a number of podiums and leaving club coaches impressed with their performances.

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"We were really happy, all the kids did well. We had a lot of podium results, a lot of best performances and some outstanding achievements from the kids," said Whistler coach Sarah Hogg. "Overall, it was great."

Slopestyle, halfpipe and moguls contests were held over the three days and Hogg said skiing at home was an advantage for locals, who have more experience in the pipe compared to most of the visiting teams.

"We get to train in this halfpipe all the time and a lot of the other clubs don't have halfpipes at their home hill," she said. "The slopestyle events were in our park where the kids are training every day. The features were a bit different than they are some weekends, but the kids are used to the snow here, used to the jumps, how the park guys build the jumps - so we definitely had an advantage there."

Though club officials were mostly thrilled with the weather conditions over the weekend, fog hindered some of the Timber Tour moguls competition on Monday and held the M4 and F4 divisions (13-and-under) off course.

Despite that, local skiers collected 10 medals in Timber Tour competition, led by M4 skiers Luke Smart and Charles Armstrong.

Smart and Armstrong finished one-two in Saturday's (Feb. 9) slopestyle, then swapped podium positions on Sunday (Feb. 10) in the halfpipe. With a halfpipe bronze, Carter Krasny made it a sweep of the top-three for Whistler skiers in the age group. Kevin Leslie had a strong event with top 10s in both contests.

Mackenzie Wilson took top spot in the F4 halfpipe event, while Sofiane Gagnon and Teagan Bruns finished second and third, respectively, during slopestyle on Saturday.

Sophie McGregor took gold in F2 (16 to 18) moguls on her home hill Monday, while Nikolas Blomberg skied to second place in M3 (14 and 15) halfpipe competition. Pemberton's Logan Pehota had the top local slopestyle result in the M2 division, finishing fifth.

Whistler athletes hauled in more than three-dozen Super Youth medals during the three days of competition, with several club skiers hitting the podium in all three events.

Local boys swept the M4 (12 year olds) podium on every day of the weekend, led by two golds and a silver from Anders Ujejski. Seth McGregor picked up a pair of bronze medals, coming in moguls and slopestyle, while Sam Cordell's long podium finish was a gold in moguls on Saturday.

Chase Ujejski landed in second spot in Sunday's slopestyle event, while David Wilkinson and Mattias Blomberg were second and third behind Anders Ujejski in halfpipe on Monday.

Aoife Gannon also grabbed three medals on the weekend, taking gold in F4 moguls and silver in the other two events, while Janelle Law earned a bronze from moguls competition.

Ali Rainnie couldn't be beat in F5 (10 and 11) action, winning all three events to lead a Whistler podium sweep each day. Anna Wilkinson was the runner-up to Rainnie in moguls and slopestyle, while Maia Schwinghammer added halfpipe silver to her moguls bronze. With third-place finishes in slopestyle and pipe, Erin Wilson was on the podium twice.

Kai Smart and Max Edwards took turns atop the M5 podium, with Smart chalking up moguls and halfpipe victories and Edwards winning the slopestyle. Smart also took silver behind Edwards on Sunday, while Edwards also had silver and bronze medals from the other events. Charlie McMillan made it an all-Whistler podium on Saturday by placing third in moguls.

Maddy Low secured one medal of each colour on the weekend, highlighted by her moguls triumph to start the weekend of F6 (8 and 9) competition. Brooke Armstrong took silver on Saturday and added a slopestyle bronze the following day.

Stephen Linsay-Ross saved his best performance for the pipe on Monday, when he claimed gold, while M6 teammates Saxon Forster and Marcus Goguen were the silver medallists in moguls and slopestyle, respectively.

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