Whitehorse snowboarder Samuel Mather has an excellent memento from his first competition outside the Yukon.
The 12-year-old won a silver medal at the Like Me Snowboard Series at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver on Saturday.
“I was really happy. I had never really competed in a big competition like that and it felt really cool,” said Mather.
Mather placed second out of 14 boarders in the 12-and-under division in the slopestyle competition that is part of the B.C. Snowboard’s provincial series.
He also finished 22nd overall in the field of 63 boarders, with some in their early 20s.
Mather threw down a clean run despite some soppy conditions on the slopes.
“It was a very hard day for putting down the tricks we had practised because the weather was really, really bad,” said Mather. “The jumps were really slow so I just tried to do a safe run … Did stuff I was sure I could land.”
“One trick I was glad I landed was my backside 360 melon grab. That was a trick I had a bit of trouble landing in practice and it felt good to get it under the belt in competition.”
Mather placed first overall at Yukon’s team trials for the 2016 Arctic Winter Games this past January. He also won his division in slopestyle the last two Yukon Snowboarding Championships.
“He did really well. He’s got amazing potential and he wasn’t that far from being first, so we’re all super proud of him,” said Yukon coach Gabriel Rivest. “The conditions were absolutely awful, so it was good that he managed to do so well.”
Mather was one of nine Snowboard Yukon team members to compete Saturday, but the only to win a medal.
Ethan Davy placed sixth for males 13-14 and 30th overall; Ben Machtans eighth for U12; Kaleb Zaliauskas-Swan 13th for U12; Matthias Clyde-Lien 13th for U19 and 25th overall; Marek Henderson Pekarik 17th for U19 and 27th overall; Ben Shrier 18th for males 13-14; Asher Brault 19th for males 13-14; and multi-time Yukon champ Tim Schirmer 22nd for U19.
“It was rainy, windy and foggy, and sticky snow started falling, so it was making conditions really slow,” said Rivest. “A lot of people had a hard time clearing the jumps, so it was basically as hard as it gets for a competition.
“They are definitely conditions we’re not used to in the Yukon. We never get anywhere close to those conditions. The fact everyone got to compete and no one got hurt was a success for me.”
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