Coach Jon Blair

Local racers compete at Whistler Cup

Local members of the Kimberley Alpine Team took to the hills in the Lower Mainland to race at the Whistler Cup over the weekend.

Local members of the Kimberley Alpine Team took to the hills in the Lower Mainland to race at the Whistler Cup over the weekend.

Emma Damm, Ethan Blair, Jamie Casselman and Zoe Chore all represented their club while competing against 400 other races from 27 different countries.

Casselman took the top honours of the group by ending the weekend as the second overall Canadian based on performance. He took a bronze medal in U14 slalom and finished 4th in giant slalom and 9th in the second round of dual giant slalom.

“”I thought the dual slalom was a cool idea,” said Casselman. “It was especially fun riding backup to the start behind the snowmobiles. I was a bit nervous before my first run of the slalom race because of the high level of competition and I really hoped to do well this year. I got 7th in my first run and was afraid the podium was out of reach.

“I was more comfortable before my second run so I skied more aggressively with the second fastest afternoon run and ended up on the podium in third. This was my third Whistler cup and I have had a lot of good experiences. I always look forward to the breakfasts at the Roundhouse even though I have to wake up really early.”

Fellow U14 teammate Ethan Blair finished 32nd in slalom, 58th in giant slalom and 40th in the first round of dual slalom.

In the U14 female category, Emma Damm raced to 31st out of 109 competitors in giant slalom and 20th in the first round of dual slalom.

In the U16 category, Zoe Chore placed 31st in super-G and 42nd in giant slalom in a group of 80 athletes.

“These young athletes have had very successful seasons both regionally and provincially,” said KAT coach Jon Blair. “Zoe Chore and Jamie Casselman will finish off their season by attending a BC Alpine Talent ID camp in Whistler April 16-20th.”

The event is a pretty big affair, which simulates an Olympic atmosphere with the top 11-15 year old talent, coaches and volunteers in different cultures coming together to compete. Friends are made through banquets, 7 a.m. breakfasts at the top of the mountain, live music and a parade where Olympic athletes and Whistler Cup athletes proudly represent their country.

Kimberley Alpine Team has been in operation since 1987. The club provides fall and winter programs for developing the love of skiing in children from the ages 4 to 19 with operations based at the Kimberley Alpine Ski Resort. For more information go to www.KimberleyAlpineTeam.ca

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