Whitewater skier Liam Jones competes at the BC Winter Games in Mission on the weekend.

Kootenay skiers shine at BC Winter Games

Coach calls games a success, despite the cancellation of several ski event due to weather issues.

The 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission are being called a  success for the Kootenay Zone U14 alpine skiing athletes.

The Alpine and Freestyle events were hosted by Hemlock Resort and this was the first time this year that the best U14 alpine racers were brought together for a competition.

Whitewater’s Dylan Henderson, head coach for the Kootenay team said the athletes’ results “met and exceeded our goals.”

“I feel that the real success of this games is with the friendships that were made and sense of independence gained by each individual athlete that attended the games. For many athletes this is the first time that they had travelled without parents or their regular team coaches,” explained Henderson.

“This event is very challenging for the athletes as they are not staying at the resort but in schools in Mission and busing to and from the resort and other venues for ceremonies and other activities.”

He said the athletes’ days started at 5:30 a.m. and went until 9 p.m.

The West Kootenay kids travelled by bus to the games and the East Kootenay athletes travelled by charter plane from Cranbrook.

The Kootenays (zone 1) which includes East and West Kootenays were on the podium in every Alpine event.

“I think this is likely a first time this has happened. We were one of eight zones from around the province.”

Fernie’s Devin Mettertreiner won gold in boys slalom, and Rylee Forsyth from Fernie won silver in girls slalom

Kaysa Panke took the bronze in girls slalom and the silver in girls giant slalom.

In girls ski cross, the Kootenay zone’s Samantha Gaul won silver.

“The alpine event was not without incident as we had one of our Kootenay girl athletes —  Charlize Street who was fifth in slalom on Friday — break her arm in giant slalom in a crash on Saturday. She was back on snow with a cast on her arm to cheer on her competitors on Sunday.”

According to Henderson, the boys did not get their GS race on Saturday due to too much snow through the day.

The boys also didn’t get their ski cross on Sunday due to a lift breakdown.

“This was a huge disappointment to our boys who have trained so hard for this event. We had two strong medal contenders for GS; Devin who won the slalom, and Jamie Casselman who fell in the first run of slalom but posted the fastest run in his second slalom run.

These athletes will get back together for the Tech U14 BC Alpine Provincials at Sun Peaks running March 13 to 16.

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