Two time Olympian Bobby Swan (right) and 11 year old Whitewater Ski Team member Haley Mitchell celebrating the end of the race season.

Whitewater Ski Team wraps successful season

It was a busy last month of the race season for the Whitewater Ski Team as local athletes took in their last action of the campaign.

It was a busy last month of the race season for the Whitewater Ski Team as local athletes took in their last action of the campaign.

During the last month the young racers took in events at Panorama, Big White and back home at Whitewater to wrap up the season.

The 13 to 16 year olds headed to Panorama in early March for the K2 Provincials where athletes posted some great results against over 200 racers from the powerhouse clubs in Fernie, Whistler and the coast.

In the girls Super G, Paisley Randell finished 38, 40 and 51, while Linnea Sharelove finished 43, 44, and 50.  In the boys Super G Jamis Beatty finished 19, 22, 27; Liam Osak finished 45, 45, 51; and Harper Henderson finished 46, 46, 47.

Each athlete also competed in the first ever skier cross held at the provincials. Once again, Whitewater athletes showed their mettle with every racer making it through the qualifiers and into the final heats. Only Beatty made it into the finals where he finished just out of the medals in fourth.

The 11 and 12 year olds travelled to Big White for the K1 provincials in middle March. Most of these athletes are in just the first year of racing and the results were surprisingly impressive.

In a slalom race highlighted by a very challenging course and 35 disqualifications, every Whitewater athlete posted results with Haley Mitchell finishing 13, 83, 16, 20, 19;  Savannah Leishman 60, 22, 31, 32, 50; Oso Punchard 47, 46, 79, 81, 68; Cheyanne Stevens 46, 62, 79, 81, 68; Liam Jones 71, 61, 60, 76;  Isaac Gray 87, 87, 83, 83, 65; Jesse Thurston 45, 47, 40, 39, 64; and Kalob Jensen 75, 76, 63, 79, 68.

Coach Al Bull was very positive with these results.

“For their first big provincials, our athletes posted great results against the best skiers in the province,” Bull said. “I’m thrilled with the progress they have shown throughout the season and I expect big things from this group heading into the next 2 years of K1”.

The ski team wrapped up the 2012 race season during the last weekend in March at Whitewater with the Teck Kootenay K zone finals. A total of 90 athletes from Fernie, Kimberley, Red Mountain, Salmo, Nakusp and Whitewater competed over the weekend in GS and slalom races.  Conditions were unseasonably warm and sunny forcing the athletes to ski on soft conditions for the first time all season.

Whitewater racers posted some outstanding results with multiple podium finishes over the weekend. The lone E2 girl, Ohia Wintraub, finished 1, 4 and 5; E2 boys Yael Oosthuizen 5, 5, 6;  Arlo Henderson 3, 5, 6; Ronan Gray 11, 12; K1 girls Savannah Leishman 4, 8, 10, 11;  Hayley Mitchell 4, 5; 10. 18 ; Oso Punchard 7, 9, 15, 16;  Cheyanne Stevens 18, 19, 20; K1 boys Liam Jones 3; 3, 3, 11; Jesse Thurston 1, 3, 4, 5;  Isaac Gray 7, 8, 8, 13; K2 girls Linnea Sharelove 2, 4; K2 boys Jamis Beatty 1, 1;  Harper Henderson 2; Liam Osak 4; J girls Paisley Randell 1, 2;  Shannon Osak 4; and Masters racers came out in force with Bobby Swan finishing 1 and 4; Robert Mitchell 1; Bill Ahrens 2, 3; and Leigh Brousson 2.

“I’m really proud to be part of this team and to coach these great athletes,” said Whitewater coach Dylan Henderson. “And, I’m super stoked for next year as we continue to grow our K and Masters programs into a dominant force in BC. To quote Maverick in Top Gun, ‘I feel the need – the need for speed!’”

“This year has been a huge success for the club and the results from these races speak for themselves,” said Whitewater team president Paul Osak. “To get this number of athletes achieving podium finishes and top 10 results is a remarkable accomplishment for our team. We are so proud of our athletes, coaches and parents who have made our club one of the fastest growing and most successful programs in the entire province. And we anticipate even better results next year.”


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