‘Super scared’ Jona Caney, Ava Prosser win at Whitewater’s Junior Freeski Open

The pair were two of 81 competitors at the weekend event.

Jona Caney (pictured centre) took first place in the boys 15-18 category at Whitewater's Junior Freeski Open on Sunday.

Jona Caney was already stressed as he waited for his run when his friend gave him a tip whatever you do, ski fast.

That proved to be good advice. On a day that featured plenty of crashes, Caney stayed in control during an impressive run to win the boys 15-18 category at Whitewater’s Junior Freeski Open finals Sunday.

Caney, a 16-year-old Nelson native who captured the win in his first competition of the season following a knee injury, said he was surprised he didn’t eat snow during his run down Whitewater’s Blast hill.

“I was super scared coming into the 360 because [Brendan Kelley] who went before me said he cased it a little bit and said, ‘Go way faster than you think,'” said Caney. “So I came in really fast, super scared, then right in the air I spun my 180 too fast, so I was like, ‘whooooaaa,’ and then so happy once I landed that.”

For anyone not competing, conditions were snowy and festive as a dedicated crowd watched throughout the day.

The 81 athletes, however, had one attempt to navigate a tricky course following qualifying Saturday. Caney, who entered the finals in third place, said Blast is deceptively complex.

“Especially to hit the features on the top section there. Because it’s so steep, and coming off something really big, any cliff really, it’s scary to land it. You just want to shut it down really fast. For people who are just beginning it’s really intimidating,” said Caney.

“Also just standing at the top of any comp run, you’re scared. Really scared. You’re hoping for the best.”

Caney’s score of 37.03 was the highest of the day. He finished ahead of Sol Butler of South Slocan and third-place Nelson native Ben Woodward.

Meanwhile, Calgary’s Ava Prosser took first in the girls 15-18 category. Just three competitors took part in the category, with most of Whitewater’s junior team still en route from a trip to Andorra.

Still, Prosser was happy with her first win of the season.

“It was pretty good,” said the 15-year-old. “I missed a few hits. I stayed on my feet, so it turned out well.”

Calgary’s Katja Ewart was second followed by Fernie’s Astrid Bloemink.

Other winners included: Rossland’s Simon Hillis (boys 12-14); Rossland’s Erin Flood (girls 12-14); Rossland’s Xander Bankes (boys 7-11); and Nelson’s Cayenne Caney (girls 7-11).

Whitewater’s junior team also had a successful visit to Grandvalira, Andorra for the Freeride Junior World Championships on Thursday.

Nigel Ziegler finished second in the men’s ski event, while his Whitewater teammate Sam Kuch was fourth. Whistler’s Jackson Bathgate was first atop the 28-skier field.

Other Canadians included Tom Peiffer in 12th and Jeff Ashton in 21st.

Whitewater’s Haley Cooke had Canada’s best result on the women’s side with an eighth-place finish. Savannah Leishman, who also competes at Whitewater, was 12th in the 14-skier field.

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

Safe boating event planned in Nelson on May 25

The event coincides with the National Safe Boating Awareness week

Help make Nelson the most active community in Canada

The Better Community Challenge launches May 31

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read