Whistler hosts 36th Annual Parsons DH & SG - U16 Teck Provincial Series

Article #2811
Published By: Kathy Stahr

Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comPhoto from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.com

Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comPhoto from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.com
Photos courtesy of Davis Jevning

Report submitted by Sarah Renzoni

The late Bob Parsons, ski racer, original weasel worker and lover of speed, had a vision that BC ski racers needed to learn how to ski speed in a safe and controlled environment, so loaned his good name and foresight to the creation of what is now known as the Bob Parsons Memorial Downhill race. The longest running race in Whistler since its inception as the Back Bowl Downhill (SG didn't exist back then) "The 36th Parsons" found its home back on Whistler, on the Dave Murray National Training centre February 5th through 9th.

Ullr, the Norse god of cold and snow didn't read the race notice and left us for Canada's East, and in his place the Pineapple Express hurled itself into BC and the Coastal mountains with unprecedented levels of rain and warm temperatures! 115 U16 racers from all across the province arrived for one great day of testing out their long boards on the speed track, broken down into manageable sections to give coaches and athletes the time to experience starts, steeps and terrain changes on skis with big turning radius. Training was great and the smiles and courage grew as the day progressed.

And then we all climbed aboard the Pineapple Express!

Thursday's training, Friday and Saturday's races were washed downhill by the newly formed Parson's Creek which took out the Beauty Creek pitch and much of the snow on Ptarmigan run. Snow levels and spirits dropped as the WMSC U16 coaches and course-crew, led by the tireless Stan Kranjc and Steele Jordan, dug ditches and moved netting to save what they could. Who says a rain-day is a day off: Impromptu dryland training provided for fun and team bonding for many of our racers as they hit the gym for work outs, ping pong in the club cabin and skating and swimming at Meadow Park rec. centre! Jeff MacLennan and his team of coaches served up a great mixture of training opportunities on Friday practising starts, and some speed ski laps on a very quiet mountain!

With Downhill dreams washed away, the visiting coaches and ROC decided a shortened SG track was the best bet to have a safe race, with everyone getting a taste of speed, and to salvage what they could of the race event.

Sunday and Monday dawned dark and damp, but spirits were high and the kids and coaches wanted to get racing! Fog, mist and yes, more rain, resulted in many course holds and delays, with forerunners reporting how many times they had to wipe their googles while they skied.

But a ski race we had and the kids had fun: "I was bummed we didn't get to race downhill but after all the rain, I was still super excited to ski my first ever SG race. I had a ton of fun dancing around the soggy hill in our ponchos", said WMSC racer Ella Renzoni, who's thirst for speed launched her from being a never-ever speed racer to the bronze medal position on the first day of racing. Brooke Lukinuk of Big White was first, with Ayla O'Brien from Banff in second. For the men, Kasper Woolley of WMSC placed first with a 0.02 lead over team-mates Kyle Alexander in 2nd and Asher Jordan rounding out the Whistler sweep in third place. Said Kasper: "I really liked the course on Saturday and thought I might be able to be fast, so I was really happy to take the win, especially since I have never had a great result in SG - now I am looking forward to the Canada Winter Games".

Sunday's weather was not much different, and the set required a very careful inspection to ensure the athletes kept the high line and resisted the temptation to straighten out in the need for speed!

Kyle Alexander nailed the line and landed on the top step of the podium. Despite his great skiing, Kyle was a true team player and wanted to share the tale of teammate Masashi Tsutsumi who wore bib #1 and was delayed multiple times by the omnipresent course or weather holds. In his effort to calm himself, Masashi stepped away from the start, clicked out of his race skis and in doing so, snapped his own ski pole right in half! In the spirit of goodwill, Ayla O'Brien of Banff loaned Masashi some poles for his run and seemingly unfazed by the experience skied a solid run and landed in 4th! Asher Jordan showed the province that he has speed firmly figured out by placing 2nd, with fellow Whistler teammate Alexander Valentin in 3rd, improving on his 7th from the day before.

The girls’ race saw WMSC's Katie Fleckenstein attacking hard and fighting to keep the line, landing herself in second, 0.55 seconds behind Kristina Natalenko of Grouse, who took the win. Nicole Foster of Fernie was third, 0.61 off the winning time.  

Two races where complete, and despite the challenging weather, the spirit and camaraderie shone brighter than the missing sun. Asher Jordan said, reflecting on the weekend; "it is what it is, we need to learn to ski in all kinds of conditions, sometimes course holds happen! Joking around and huddling in the start tent helped calm everybody's nerves. I really like the Okanagan kids, and the Fernie Alpine team has great spirit and a really big cheering section." Katie Fleckenstein appreciated what it took to make the race happen; "I'd like to thank all of the vollies for pulling off this wet and wild speed event! It was great to get back on the long boards again, even if it was only for a couple of days".

After completing 2 races out of a possible 8, over a total of 6 days, one female and one male were crowned the overall Parsons Champions: Congratulations to Kristina Natalenko of Grouse and Kyle Alexander of Whistler! Their names will be engraved on the plaque and added to the long list of successful speed racers from the past 36 years! Thanks Bob Parsons, your respect and love for speed has been passed down to another great bunch of BC's ski racers!

Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comPhoto from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.com

February 8, 2015 Parsons Super-G - Women

1 13 LUKINUK Brooke BIGWH 1999 48.09
2 16 O'BRIEN Ayla BANFF 1999 48.17
3 25 RENZONI Ella WHIST 2000 48.53
4 22 NATALENKO Kristina GROUS 1999 49.01
5 7 FLECKENSTEIN Katie WHIST 1999 49.41
6 32 FORSYTH Rylee FERNI 2000 49.58
7 30 JEPSEN Mollie WHIST 1999 49.63
8 29 PANKE Kaysa REDMT 2000 50.05
9 3 FOSTER Nicole FERNI 1999 50.09
10 27 DAWSON Erin WHIST 2000 50.16
11 21 MACDONALD Frances GROUS 1999 50.36
12 4 MORRIS Micah FERNI 1999 50.67
13 28 VOSS Katrina HMLCK 2000 51.17
14 38 CARRUTHERS Alexanddra        FERNI 2000 51.37
15 33 BRATTON Lexie FERNI 2000 51.99

February 8, 2015 Parsons Super-G - Men

1 18 WOOLLEY Kasper WHIST 1999 46.48
2 14 ALEXANDER Kyle WHIST 1999 46.50
3 9 JORDAN Asher WHIST 1999 47.04
4 1 KONIGSMANN Peter CYPRE 1999 47.99
5 22 KOWALCZYK Myles WHIST 2000 48.36
6 6 TORRES Zane BIGWH 1999 48.75
7 7 VALENTIN Alexander WHIST 1999 48.85
8 28 FORSYTH Jack WHIST 2000 49.00
9 8 DONALD Gavin VERNO 1999 49.12
10 31 MACDONALD Luke FERNI 1999 49.71
11 23 GAIRNS Lucas PGEOR 2000 49.86
12 40 WAKKARY Olin CYPRE 2000 50.07
13 26 CALLAGHAN Christian      GROUS 2000 50.08
14 17 FILIPOVIC Nikola WHIST 1999 50.25
15 29 PETKOVIC Konstantin GROUS 2000 50.28

February 9, 2015 Parsons Super-G - Women

1 3 NATALENKO Kristina GROUS 1999 48.21
2 13 FLECKENSTEIN Katie WHIST 1999 48.76
3 9 FOSTER Nicole FERNI 1999 48.82
4 2 VAN SOEST Katrina VERNO 1999 49.34
5 5 O'BRIEN Ayla BANFF 1999 49.36
6 6 MACDONALD Frances GROUS 1999 49.50
7 25 RENZONI Ella WHIST 2000 49.53
8 26 JEPSEN Mollie WHIST 1999 49.81
9 29 PANKE Kaysa REDMT 2000 49.83
10 4 LUKINUK Brooke BIGWH 1999 49.86
11 10 MORRIS Micah FERNI 1999 49.95
12 27 DAWSON Erin WHIST 2000 50.78
13 18 ANDISON Jane REDMT 1999 51.03
14 38 CARRUTHERS Alexanddra     FERNI 2000 51.17
15 41 JARDINE-ARNOLD Myka SPAC 2000 51.32

February 9, 2015 Parsons Super-G - Men

1 7 ALEXANDER Kyle WHIST 1999 46.26
2 4 JORDAN Asher WHIST 1999 46.49
3 15 VALENTIN Alexander WHIST 1999 47.39
4 1 TSUTSUMI Masashi WHIST 1999 47.80
5 9 DONALD Gavin VERNO 1999 48.11
6 10 KONIGSMANN Peter CYPRE 1999 48.40
7 21 KOWALCZYK Myles WHIST 2000 48.47
8 25 FORSYTH Jack WHIST 2000 48.51
9 31 MACDONALD Luke FERNI 1999 48.57
10 14 FILIPOVIC Nikola WHIST 1999 48.78
11 3 TORRES Zane BIGWH 1999 48.99
11 2 MONROE Evan SPAC 1999 48.99
13 18 KUZEK Mathew CYPRE 1998 49.15
14 28 YOUNGBERG Anton VERNO 2000 49.64
15 23 MITTERTREINER Devin     FERNI 2000 49.80

Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comPhoto from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comPhoto from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.com