The Nakusp Secondary School’s Ski & Snowboard Team represented their school and the West Kootenay Zone at the BC School Sports Alpine Championships in Whistler, March 1 to 3.
The 16 racers from Grades 8 to 12 competed in both a Giant Slalom (GS) course and a Terrain GS course over the three days, with varied weather and snow conditions making the event a bit challenging at times for the Blackcomb crew running the races.
Racing on Wednesday, the six boys and four girls had no problem taking on the 31-gate GS course for two runs, with Zoe Zinselmeyer and Ivy Tourand finishing 32nd and 35th respectively out of 62 girls.
Unfortunately first seed Kiley Waterfield sustained an injury in the morning prior to the race and was unable to compete in the event. Top boy finishers for Nakusp were Garret Waterfield at 15th, Jordan Katchen at 22nd and Everett Harrison at 25th, and the boys team tied for seventh place out of 14 teams from around the province.
The Thursday races saw the snowboarders take to their 33-gate GS course, set on the same run as the skiers’ course the previous day.
Through flurries and somewhat icy conditions, our boarders fared well, with Colten Petterson finishing third over the combined two runs, and Tim Barisoff close behind in fifth place out of 69 boys. Maya Watson finished an impressive eighth place out of 30 girls. Thursday evening saw the team head to Buffalo Bill’s in Whistler Village for Day 1 and 2 awards as well as a dance afterwards. Colten Petterson was awarded a bronze medal for his third place finish in the Snowboard GS. Combined with his Terrain GS time on Friday, Colten finished fourth overall out of the 64 boy boarders, and Tim Barisoff finished sixth overall.
On Friday, all 236 racers ran through the Terrain GS course for just one run each. Set on the Blackcomb Snowcross run, the 25-gate course over 150 vertical metres is a good final-day test for both skiers and boarders.
With 25 cm of fresh powder overnight, and steady snowfall and wind gusts, it was a challenging day weather-wise, as the powder softened up the course from the ice that the racers found in training, leading to ruts on the course and other challenges. With the wind and reduced visibility the racers really had to make sure that they stayed on top of their skis or board and ready for the changing conditions.
The Terrain course is fun for the racers but difficult to train for at Summit Lake or even some of our other local hills because we do not have the developed park. There was some nervousness at the start of the course but once through a lot of the racers were wishing they could tackle the course again.
Tim Barisoff was our top boy boarder finisher at eighth place, with Colten Petterson close behind at 11th, and Maya Watson was our top girl boarder finisher at 21st place. Girl Skiers Zoe Zinselmeyer and Ivy Tourand finished 34th and 38th respectively, and skiers Jordan Katchen, Colby Mackintosh and Garrett Waterfield finished 31st, 32nd and 35th respectively. As soon as the racers were done for the day, the team headed back to Pemberton and packed up the bus for the long ride home that evening, arriving back in Nakusp at midnight.
Complete results can be found on whistlerblackcomb.com by entering “high school races” in the search box.