The Whitewater Freeride Club skied at a regional competition at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort last weekend. Ryan Kelly (right) about to drop into his run. He placed fifth in Boy’s 7-11 years.

The Whitewater Freeride Club skied at a regional competition at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort last weekend. Ryan Kelly (right) about to drop into his run. He placed fifth in Boy’s 7-11 years.

Whitewater Freeride team saddles up at Kicking Horse

Seventeen free skiers from the Whitewater Freeride team competed in a regional event at Golden Mountain Resort last weekend.

The Whitewater Freeride Club skied well at a regional competition at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for the second weekend in a row. Six skiers had podium finishes and there were strong individual performances from the club.

Sam Woodward just before he dropped into his run. He placed third in Boy’s 15-18.

“What a weekend,” said coach Peter Velisek. “The finals were electric, the kids were totally charged. They skied so well and we had a bunch of podium finishes.”

In the 15 to 18 year old category it was two Sams on the podium with Sam Kuch first and Sam Woodward third. Jesse Thurston won the 12 to 14 year old category. Both Thurston’s and Kuch’s wins were repeats from last weekend’s national event.

Savannah Leishman won the girls 15 to 18 year old category with Haley Cooke in third and Andi Belland fourth. In the seven to 11 year old category, Adam Kuch claimed third.

Velisek said there were also some “amazing” individual performances within the team.

“A bunch of team members had runs where it all came together for them and they were able to step into that next level of their potential and their skiing. As coaches it made us all pretty proud.”

Beside Velisek, coaches Dano Slater and Peter Then also accompanied the athletes. There was a one day qualifier run for all three age categories, followed by a final the next day.

This weekend the club travels to a national competition at Lake Louise where skiers ages 12 to 18 aim to gain points towards their final standings which determine if they will qualify for the North American championships.

Kicking Horse regional event results:

Boys 7-11

Adam Kuch: 3rd

Ryan Kelly: 5th

Boys 12-14

Jesse Thurston: 1st

Noah McBriar: 7th

Liam Herbert: 13th

Elias Lutz: 18th

Girls 15-18

Savannah Leishman: 1st

Haley Cooke: 3rd

Andi Belland: 4th

Boys 15-18

Sam Kuch: 1st

Sam Woodward: 3rd

Ben Woodward: 9th

Jeff Ashton: 12th

Liam Kelly: 13th

Sam Howard: 17th

Jona Caney: 18th

Brendan Kelly: 20th