Sun Peaks Teck BC Alpine U16 Open Series season opener - January 4th to 7th, 2018 (LINK TO PHOTO ALBUM)
The first race of 2018 saw 155 U16 and U19 racers - plus master racer extrordinaire Gerry Whitaker - gather at Sun Peaks Resort early in the New Year for the first of three Open Series events sponsored by Teck. More than 250 volunteers, coaches and athletes enjoyed four days of competition (2 GS and 2 slalom) on the famous OSV (Osterreicher SkiVerband), a track designed and built by the powerhouse Austrian Ski Team when they made Sun Peaks their private training centre in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler. Since that time, Sun Peaks Alpine Club and the Sun Peaks Resort have maintained the training centre, now called the NGITC - Nancy Greene International Training Centre - as one of the premier sites in Western Canada to train and race!
In the ladies' competition there was a fierce battle between Big White's Hallie Jenkins, Whistler's Freya Jumonville and local Kamloops girl Brynn Applegath, a 1st year U16! These three attacked run after run, with Hallie taking three wins out of four, Freya grabbing the fourth win and Brynn on the podium all four days with one second and three third place finishes. The field was made up of competitors from all corners of the province, from the Coast, the Okanagan, the North and the Kootenays.
On the men's side the competition was fierce. The FIS U19 Okanagan Ski Team (OST) was there to set a high bar for U16 racers from around the province...and let's not forget about Master Racer Gerry Whitaker and Para Athlete Alain Cordonier who rounded out this very diverse and talented field! Hometown OST member Beckett Hooton (1st place) edged out teammate Gerrit Van Soest (2nd place) of Vernon, while U16 Heiko Ihns from the famous Red Mountain Racers finished third in the first GS race. Then it was on! The next three days of racing were fast and tight, with a mix of U16 and FIS athletes battling for podium positions. In the end, Tait Jordan of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, Heiko Ihns of Red Mountain and Isaac Athans from the Apex Ski Club are sitting 1, 2 and 3 in the U16 Teck Open Series standings (Provincial Ranking System) so far!
Men's Overall Slalom Podium
A new and well-received addition to the awards ceremony this year - we have adopted the European tradition of awarding the winners in the overall categories with their choice of cheese, sausage or chocolate (see photos). The real excitement came when these special treats were presented by none other than skiing icon and Athlete of the Century Nancy Greene Raine herself!
Women's Overall Slalom Podium
We MUST recognize the outstanding contributions from the Sun Peaks Alpine Club members and the Sun Peaks Resort for putting this event together! Their high standards for organization and professionalism are second to none. The volunteer ROC (Race Organizing Committee) led by Chief of Race Clark Hooton and lead timer Lisa Hooton (parents of speetsters Beckett and Noa), along with many other volunteers, spent countless hours planning, prepping for and orchestrating a fun, safe and fair event for everyone.
"It's incredible how a group of people from all different backgrounds and occupations can work so closely together toward a single goal of making a great event," said Clark Hooton.
Montana Molyneux, SPAC Program Director and NGITC Manager, had this to say, “This is a huge opportunity for the Sun Peaks Resort. It brings many families from other BC mountains who would not otherwise come to Sun Peaks. It gives us a chance to showcase our beautiful mountain, training center and ski club! We do everything we can to make them want to come back."
The Teck Open series resumes in Kimberley, BC, February 3 to 6. This is the "speed" stop on the tour consisting of super-G training and racing!
Click here for a full break down of results https://bcalpine.com/calendar/#2168
To follow the leaders of the Teck Open Series, check here for the standings. https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=2AF87AF0036985D8!2850&ithint=file%2cxlsx&app=Excel