Graham Pollock, head coach of the Yukon Freestyle Ski Team, has a project he wants to tackle next season: build a mogul course at Whitehorse’s Mount Sima.
And why wouldn’t he after the results from last weekend?
Members of the Yukon team produced some strong results in moguls at the Superyouth and Timber Tour events at Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon, B.C., March 23-26.
“It’s tricky in freestyle because you have to train (for) so many events,” said Pollock. “We’ve put more attention in big air and slopetyle aspects this season, but it looks like we have a pretty strong mogul crew.
“I’m definitely going to put some attention into building a mogul course next season…. Maybe not a full one, but something so they can start training.”
The Yukon team won two bronze medals — one in moguls — at the provincial championship event. What makes it so remarkable is that the Yukon team hasn’t competed in moguls in about seven years.
“It’s never actually been a thing with the Yukon freestyle team,” said Pollock. “The course is tricky to build and maintain, so we’ve never had the snow and numbers to do it. So I just gave the option for the athletes to do, to try it, and … I said we might as well do it and have some fun.
“For some of them it was their first time skiing a mogul course and for all of them it was their first time competing in a mogul event.”
Both bronze medals came from Isabella Gallina in the under-eight division of the Superyouth competition.
The seven-year-old completed a spread eagle and a straight air in her best run in moguls — a judged event in which skiers go down one at a time with a couple big jumps in the run.
“She did very well, showed awesome courage and just skied her heart out,” said Pollock. “She was ecstatic. She’s been wearing her medal all week skiing at Sima. It’s pretty cute.”
Gallina also bagged a bronze in slopestyle the next day.
Other Superyouth mogul results for Yukon include John Tipton 10th in the 12-13 division; Anywn Tillett and Oriana Gallina 12th and 16th respectively in 10-11; and Logan Collon 27th, Jake Tipton 29th in 10-11.
Yukon’s Superyouth slopestyle results were Tillet seventh, John Tipton 10th, Ritchie 11th, Oriana Gallina 16th, Jake Tipton 25th and Collon 27th.
Yukon’s strong mogul results don’t end with Gallina. Yukon’s Niel Mikkelson placed fourth in the males 16 division in the Timber Tour.
“It’s incredible because he skied maybe 10 runs of moguls the entire time and the other athletes have been training and competing on them for like five or six years,” said Pollock. “He was watching the mogul skiers the morning of the competition just so he could get an idea what to look for. And ended up putting an awesome top-to-bottom in, completing a full run with no boggles, with a 360 on the top air and a big spread eagle on the bottom, and ended up fourth.
“I’m so impressed with how he skied.”
Yukon’s Max Logan placed 20th and Emmett Ross 22nd in the males 15 competition.
Mikkelson also shined in the big air competition, landing in eighth place for his division. Teammate Christopher Arsenault placed 17th, Ross 23rd and Logan 24th in the males 14 division.
Mikkelsen again led the team in slopestyle with 13th. Arsenault, Logan and Ross, placed 25th, 30th and 31st, respectively, in their division.
The Yukon Freestyle Ski Championship, which were originally scheduled for this coming weekend, have been moved to April 14-15 on the Easter weekend.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org