Skiers prep for Arctics with Yukon Cup

It was the same old Storey at the Yukon Cup - the same old Josie Storey. The 15-year-old member of the Yukon Alpine Race Team was fastest overall both days at the Yukon Cup...

It was the same old Storey at the Yukon Cup – the same old Josie Storey.

The 15-year-old member of the Yukon Alpine Race Team was fastest overall both days at the Yukon Cup – the territory’s alpine ski championships – over the weekend at Mount Sima.

“It was a pretty fun race,” said Storey. “The slalom race stands out more, I guess, because it was a better time than my GS compared to the others.”

After two days Storey was 3.49 seconds ahead of teammate Abby Hawes, who had the second fastest combined time from the giant slalom and slalom.

Hawes was second in the GS and third in the slalom behind under-14 male winner and brother Charlie Hawes.

Yukon teammate Tayler Mitchell, skiing in under-16 female with Storey and Abby, had the third fastest combined time overall.

At last year’s Yukon Cup Abby had the fastest time of any skier in the giant slalom, while Storey had the fastest overall time in the slalom event.

Abby “was really close in the GS,” said Storey. “She was 0.19 seconds behind me … She skied really well.”

Storey, Mitchell and the two Hawes’ are among 11 Yukon alpine skiers who will race at the Arctic Winter Games next week in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Team Yukon skiers posted nine out of the top 10 fastest times in the GS on Saturday and slalom on Sunday.

“They all did very well,” said Yukon coach Yves Titley. “They’re all fired up.

“Tayler Mitchell was just back from Josie and Abby in giant slalom.

“Slalom was a little more difficult because I set the course a little bit harder for training. We used the Yukon Cup as a training venue for the Arctics, so I set it pretty hard. But they all did well; every one of them did very well.

“So they’re all primed up for the Arctics and I think we should have good results.”

This year’s Yukon Cup had just shy of 40 racers both days, nearly double the participation from last year. Included in the races were young skiers who will soon move up onto the Yukon Alpine Race Team and will likely compete at future major Games like the Arctics.

“We had great weather for the event and we had a lot of young kids from the Snow Stars program,” said Titley. “This is the group that will come in a year or two onto the race team. I was quite impressed by quite a few of them.”

“A lot of people came out and there were a lot of great younger skiers there too,” said Storey. “It was fun to see everyone racing and to see the future generation.”

Other skiers heading to Fairbanks on Team Yukon next week are Liam Diamond, Zackary Endress, Angus Endress, Shane Orban, Samantha Richardson, Manas Sarin-Toews and Katelyn Vowk.

Yukon will field its largest alpine ski team in eight years at the Games next week with 11, up from eight in 2012.

Storey was the only Yukon skier to win an individual medal at the 2012 Games in Whitehorse, claiming silver in the dual slalom. Her medal was the first won by the Yukon in alpine skiing since the 2006 Games.

Despite not fielding any skiers in the junior male division at the 2012 Games, the Yukon team accumulated enough points to take bronze in the team event. It was the first time in Games history the Yukon won a team medal in alpine.

Next week will be Storey and Abby Hawes’s third and final Arctic Winter Games.

“It’s a little sad it’s going to be the last one, but the Yukon Cup was good training for that and we’re all pretty excited to hit the slopes in Fairbanks,” said Storey. “I don’t think any of us have skied in Fairbanks before, so it’s a new thing.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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