Seven members of the Apex Freestyle Club received a jolt of confidence during the Castle Mountain Canadian Series event in Banff Jan. 25-26.
Competing against older mogul skiers not on the World Cup stage, AFC coach Kenni Kuroda only hoped his athletes would finish in the top third or half.
“All seven made it in the top half of the field. It was a really stiff field with provincial teams from all over Canada,” said Kuroda.
In ladies single moguls, Mackenzie Schwinghamer placed seventh, Madison Parker eighth and Kassidy Todd 11th. In the dual moguls, Schwinhamer was sixth, Parker 10th and Todd 11th. On the boys side, in the single moguls that featured 44 skiers, Koleton Phipps placed 19th, Brayden Kuroda, 21st, Joe Durham 23rd and Max Todd was 29th. In dual moguls, Kuroda was 14th, Phipps 15th, Durham 17th, and Todd was 21st.
“Those were excellent results for the field we were in,” said Kuroda, adding that his athletes stepped it up two or three notches. “I think they were a little overwhelmed at their results. We weren’t hoping for podium finishes, just to be respectable. We were far above that.”
In what Kuroda described as a “very high-calibre event,” he was impressed with the speed his skiers had going down the course as well as the jumps they performed.
“They didn’t look out of place at all. Some of my skiers were beating provincial athletes,” he said. “That shows a lot.”
Kuroda said what the skiers accomplished will do a lot for their confidence, especially with the final Timber Tour event scheduled for Prince George Feb. 6-9. That will be the final qualifier for the Canadian Junior Nationals March 13-16, in Quebec.