Two Yukon snowboarders faced some tough competition on an easy course over the weekend.
Whitehorse’s Alexander Chisholme and Alidas Jamnicky took on an international field in snowboard cross at a B.C. Snowboard Provincial Series event at Big White, about 50 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, B.C.
Facing fellow Canadians and riders from Japan, Poland and Romania in back-to-back competitions, Chisholme broke into the top-10 with an eighth place finish – fourth for Canadians – on Sunday. He also raced to 14th on Saturday.
“It was a really good experience,” said Chisholme. “It solidified that that’s what I want to pursue in snowboarding and I’d like to compete for a long time to come.
“It’s a lot of fun and gives me my adrenaline rush. I look forward to the nationals at the end of the season.”
Jamnicky rode to 12th place on Saturday and 16th on Sunday, with 20 racers on Saturday and 19 Sunday.
“When you think about our guys here, they don’t have the luxury of training on a course, they don’t have the specific snowboards for snowboard cross that we hope to get these guys on,” said Snowboard Yukon coach Norm Curzon. “If you look at the times these guys posted, they are well within the pack.”
The two Yukoners, who were the first from the territory to compete in the B.C. series in snowboard cross, were hoping for a more challenging course.
“I would have liked to see a little bit more of an advanced course because it was pretty intermediate,” said Chisholme. “So I look forward to more challenging courses for nationals.”
“I think it went well,” said Jamnicky. “The course was well built. The only thing I’d complain about was it was built for people younger than me with less experience. It wasn’t a very difficult course. That kind of disappointed me a bit.
“Besides that, it was super fun.”
The course was a little extra tricky for the goofy-riding Jamnicky, he said.
“There were definitely a lot of people who were more experienced, and the course was built for some who ride regular, and I’m goofy,” said the 16-year-old, referring to the side he faces when he rides. “All the difficult corners were even more difficult.”
Chisholme and Jamnicky are trailblazers for snowboard cross in the Yukon. They were the first boarders to represent the Yukon at the Speed Nationals, Canada’s snowboard cross championships, last April at Nakiska, Alta.
At the nationals Jamnicky placed 15th overall in junior male and 34th in the open male division.
Chisholme, 21, placed 23rd in the open male division.
Jamnicky is the current Yukon champ in snowboard cross, having won gold in open male at the territorial championships last March.
At the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, though young enough for the juvenile division, Jamnicky competed as a junior and captured a bronze in snowboard cross.
Chisholme won a bronze medal in snowboard cross at the Western SBX Series in Lake Louise, Alta., a year ago. He also represented the Yukon at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, placing 17th in snowboard cross and 20th in halfpipe. At the 2010 Arctic Games, he won the overall gold medal in the junior male category.
In other Yukon snowboarding news, Whitehorse’s Max Melvin-McNutt has been sidelined for at least a month with a broken collarbone sustained in a practice at Whistler.
The injury comes after an auspicious start to the season. Melvin-McNutt, who is the first Yukoner to make the B.C. Provincial Freestyle Team, took consecutive first-place finishes in open male at B.C. Snowboard Provincial Series Slopestyle competitions at Sun Peaks two weeks ago.
The injury comes almost exactly a year after he broke his collarbone during his first season with the B.C. team.
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