The Yukon will have an older, more experienced team whipping down the slopes at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games than it did in 2010.
After three postponements due to cold weather, the Yukon’s team was selected at team trials on Sunday at Mt. Sima. Included on the team are five skiers who represented the territory at the 2010 Games in Grande Prairie, Alta.
“This year they are a lot faster. They have a few years under their belt,” said Yukon head coach Yves Titley. “I have no boys coming back this year from the previous (Games) so they are all new boys.”
Returning for a second Games are Josie Storey, Abby Hawes and Lindsay Boorse for juvenile girls and Kaitlynn Mitchell for junior girls.
Taylor Mitchell, another returnee, is expected to move up to junior female, though still at the juvenile age. Samantha Richardson, who is underage, will also ski in the junior category if she is receives permission from Sport Yukon.
“Last time was lots of fun. There was a lot of bonding between the different countries and places … pin trading was quite fun for me as well,” said Mitchell.
“I did pretty good (today). On the last run I clipped my ski and almost fell, but I caught myself before I did. That was probably my worst run today.
“I think we all did really well today and I can’t wait for Arctics.”
Also on the team are Sam Schirmer for juvenile males. Charlie Hawes and Marek Henderson-Pekarik, both 10 years old and therefore underage, will be added to the juvenile males team pending approval from Sport Yukon. No junior males will represent the Yukon at the Games.
“They skied very well,” said Titley. “They haven’t skied for the last week-and-a-half (because of weather) but they did very well. I’m pleased with every skier who came out today.”
Storey, who produced the fastest time in three slalom runs on Sunday, was the first Yukon skier in a number of years to compete at the Whistler Cup last April, placing 31st in the giant slalom.
The alpine team will be travelling to a pair of B.C. Alpine competitions before the Arctic Games. Some of the female squad will compete in Prince George at the start of February and some males will travel to Fernie the following weekend.
“The races are very close to the Arctic Winter Games, so they’ll be ready,” said Titley. “At the end of the (season), hopefully we have skiers go to the Whistler Cup again this year. The B.C. finals are being held in Smithers again, and that’s mid-April and, probably, the whole team will go down.”
Rankings from best times
1st Josie Storey (Juv/F) – 53.22
2nd Abby Hawes (Juv/F) – 56.52
3rd Kaitlynn Mitchell (Jr/F) – 1:00.32
4th Lindsay Boorse (Juv/F) – 1:00.45
5th Charlie Hawes (Underage/M) – 1:02.13
6th Taylor Mitchell (Juv/F) – 1:05.25
7th Sam Schirmer (Juv/M) – 1:05.73
8th Marek Henderson-Pekarik (Underage/M) – 1:08.62
9th Shane Orbin (Underage/M) – 1:08.97
10th Samantha Richardson (Underage/F) – 1:10.62
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