The podium at Red Resort’s zone finals race this month was crowded with victorious Whitewater ski team athletes. Seemingly unaffected by uncooperative weather and a challenging course, the local U14 and younger racers displayed a poised dominance to finish the season out in style.
“It was a firm course comprised of man-made snow, topped with a generous helping of wet slush,” says WH2O head coach Dylan Henderson. “But the kids had a great time regardless of the conditions. It’s been a tough season for weather.”
“We’re tremendously proud of our athletes,” Henderson continued. “To be competing at Red Mountain, surrounded by a hundred years’ worth of tradition, and be keeping up with a club as powerful as the Red Mountain Racers just shows that we’re a team on the move.”
The Whitewater U10 girls completely dominated the podium, taking the top three spots in both slalom and giant slalom, while the boys of the same age group also made an excellent showing against Red’s tough-as-nails young racers.
In addition, Whitewater recently sent two U14 athletes to the CanAms in Revelstoke. Henry Leishman and Yael Oosthuizen both qualified in the top 40 at the provincials this season, placing them in the top tier of racers from BC, Alberta, and beyond.
“This is the first time in the past ten years or more that we have sent U14 athletes to this level of competition, so it really marks a new era for our club,” Henderson says.
More important than podium results or provincial placement, however, is the record enrollment and continued growth of the WH2O ski team as a whole this season.
Ski team president Tracy Punchard sums it up best: “The more the merrier, in so many ways. The goal, for us, is to teach kids to love skiing. If results and victories come along with it, that’s wonderful. But it’s not the main reason for the season, so to speak.”
The team thanks the athletes, volunteers, and Whitewater ski resort for their hard work and support throughout the season.