Yukon downhill skier Josie Storey returned from Prince George, BC last weekend with two medals from the Purden Mountain Host Teck Kinder Slalom Event.
It was an important event for Storey and the rest of the Yukon girls’ K2 ski team because it was their last race before the Arctic Winter Games kick off in Whitehorse next month.
“They performed very well,” said head coach Yves Titley. “I wish we’d all brought home medals. But I’m looking at their times compared to previous races, and they’re improving a lot.
“A lot of teams in Smithers, Prince George and Terrace are looking and saying, ‘You’ve got some good skiers.’ So I’m very pleased,” said Titley.
The event featured three races. Two were held on Saturday and a combined, two-run race was held on Sunday.
On Saturday, Storey placed second, finishing in 50.06 seconds, and third with a time of 51.31 seconds.
But Storey took a few tumbles during Sunday’s race, which knocked her out of the running for a third medal.
“On the first run she fell twice but recovered so my hat’s off to her,” said Titley. “She went down on the second run, hoping for the best. Everybody can go down the course without falling if we go slow, but that’s not how to win.
“You want to go all out. But if you fall in the first run, you’re out. It’s a gamble.”
Skiers had to contend with tough snow conditions.
“It was soft,” said Titley. “There were a lot of ruts for everyone. So we’d decided to run the older girls and boys before the lighter racers. For the first five racers, I think the ruts were 10 inches deep.”
Abby Hawes placed third twice. During the first race on Saturday, she finished in 56.52 seconds. On Sunday she won her second medal, with a combined time of 1:34.20.
Both Lindsay Boorse and Taylor Mitchell showed steady improvement to their times, and ended up “just shy of a bronze,” said Titley.
“I was quite impressed with the four of them – especially Lindsay Boorse. I think her times were the fastest I’d seen.
On Sunday, Boorse finished just 1.27 seconds behind Hawes.
“Lindsay had a blistering run, but she was just off the podium again. And Abby Hawes was just in front of her.”
It’s the third year racing for the four girls, who are all 13. With the Prince George trip done, they’ll spend the remaining month before the Games training on Mount Sima. “Before then, we’ll be training every weekend,” said Titley.
The recent cold snap caused one practice to be cancelled. Thankfully, unusually warm weather over the Christmas holidays allowed racers to get in some early practice, said Titley.
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