The Larch Hills Junior Race Team had lots of top three finishes and fun during the 2023 Teck BC Championships in West Kelowna.
The final event in the Teck BC Cup series, the Championships ran March 3-5 and included a mass start free technique event on Friday, an interval start classic technique race on Saturday and concluded with a free technique relay event on Sunday. Distances varied from 1.0 kilometre for the youngest athletes up to 10-km (2x5km) for masters competitors in the classic technique event.
Sixty-seven athletes from Larch Hills registered for the Championships, including athletes and coaches from the U8 category up to the 70+ Master Women. The six-race, three-event series culminated in this weekend’s championship as B.C. athletes accumulate points for aggregate trophies as well as an overall team trophy.
Larch Hills placed third overall, with Telemark Nordic winning the overall trophy.
Larch Hills athletes who won individual aggregate trophies this year included: Tove Brown (3rd in U10 Girls -2); Zion Bucher (3rd in U12 Boys -1); Ian Orchard (3rd in U14 Boys -2); Madeleine Wilkie (2nd in U16 Girls -2); Zara Bucher (1st in U20 Women); Maggie Beckner (1st in U23 Women); Rachel Bates (2nd in U23 Women); Glenn Bond (1st in Masters Men 40-49); Megan Brooke (2nd in Master Women 40-49) and Sheila Corbett (1st in Masters Women 50-59).
Snow was a concern for the Championships but a cold snap and large snowfall the week before was the perfect lead-up to the event. Temperatures ranged from -4 C to near zero over the weekend. Waxing was fairly easy with two freestyle races and a classic day without new snow.
Larch Hills had many top three finishes over the three days including: Henry Bollans (2x1st); Tove Brown (2nd); Zion Bucher (1st and 3rd); Ian Orchard (2nd); Madeleine Wilkie (2x2nd); Frankie Ayotte (2nd); Taylor Parker (2x3rd); Zara Bucher (2x1st); Maggie Beckner (2x1st); Rachel Bates (2x2nd); Jesse Heckrodt (2x2nd); Glenn Bond (1st and 3rd); Tom Hansen (2nd); Sheila Corbett (1st and 2nd); Dirk Breugem (2nd) and Marcia Beckner (1st).
The final day of the Championships is a much-anticipated and fun day for the athletes. Costumes and fun team names are a must, and Larch Hills gets out as many coaches and parents as possible for the kids to cheer on with a total of 21 teams of three. Teams that placed top three included the ‘Goblin 5.0’ made up of Gideon Breugem, Kai Hansen and Ian Orchard taking third in the U14 Boys category, the ‘Relay-istic winners’ with Sapphira Bucher, Étoile Brown and Reese Major winning 2nd in the U14 Girls, ‘Three Skin’ taking 2nd in the U20 Men category with Callum Orchard, Simon Bakker and Frankie Ayotte (skiing with no shirts!), ‘The Spice Girls’ with Taylor Parker, Madeleine Wilkie and Zara Bucher in the U20 Women, and ‘Mushroom Fantasy’ with Abbi May, Sheila Corbett and Maggie Beckner placing 3rd in the Open Women category.
The Championships event marks the end of the three-event Teck BC Cup series, but there is one final Teck Okanagan Cup in Penticton (Nickle Plate Nordic) on March 12. Larch Hills will be sending four athletes to the Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay from March 11-17.
See the Larch Hills website for more information at www.larchhillsskiteam.com.
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