The Alpine Ski Association of Yukon team was in Fernie, BC, last weekend. They failed to place in the top 10 against skiers from BC and Alberta, but they gave consistent performances and, for the most part, kept their skies under them.
“With the amount of skiing they have done, I’m pretty proud of what they accomplished,” said Yves Titley, head coach of the Alpine Ski Association of Yukon. “Those runs were iced up, very hard packed, steep and we had a lot of racers – not from our team – get injured or they wiped out. It was a tough course.”
Final tallies are still unavailable from the Teck K1/K2 Zone Race, the alpine team’s first outside race of the season. But the skiers’ top placements out of three runs for each race indicate where they stand compared to other clubs.
“It’s a young team we have – like half the team have raced just last year,” said Titley. “So that’s an experience on its own.
“When they race locally, they don’t know what to expect from other areas, how strong they ski. Now we have something to put a bar on and say, ‘This is where we need to improve.’
“So it’s, like, an eye opener.”
Yukon alpine team skier and Arctic Winter Games team skier, Josie Storey, produced the highest results for the Yukon in the girls’ K1 events, taking 13th place in both the slalom and kombi races. Arctic Games teammate Lyndsey Boorse was just as consistent, coming 18th both days. Another K1 skier on both Yukon teams, Tayler Mitchell, was 19th in the kombi and 17th in the slalom in her best runs. Yukon’s Abby Hawes came 16th in both races.
“They’re all carded and have national points, and that was a points race,” said Titley. “So what happens is if they have a good result, they drop their points, so they have a better position in the next races. And that carries on from year to year.”
For K1 boys, Yukoner Jacob Wyers came 20th in the kombi and 18th in the slalom while Arctic Games teammate Sam Storey was 16th and 15th.
In the K2 boys’ division, Arctic Games team member Michael Hougen was 18th in the giant slalom and, after taking a fall in his opening run, 23rd in the slalom.
Kaitlynn Mitchell, who also will be going to the Arctic Games in March, topped out with a 31st place finish in the giant slalom and 25 in the slalom, racing in the K2 girls’ category
Next weekend Alpine team skiers will be in Watson Lake for the Yukon Championships. The following weekend they will be back in action at a local race at Mt. Sima.
“We want them to have race starts as much as they can before the Arctic Winter Games,” said Titley. “So we’ll have two more races and training every weekend prior to the Games.”
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