The Larch Hills Junior Race Team topped the rankings in several categories during the first Teck BC Cup race of the season over the weekend of Jan. 5-6 at Nickel Plate Nordic near Penticton.
Originally, the race was scheduled to be a smaller Okanagan Cup event, but the weekend was combined with the BC Cup after that race was postponed the previous weekend due to a lack of snow in Prince George. As is typical for a BC Cup, the weekend consisted of two different skiing techniques and formats: an interval start free technique event on Saturday, followed by a mass start classic race on Sunday. In the interval start race, each skier is released on a 15 second interval and after all skiers are finished the times are compared to determine the winner. This format forces skiers to push themselves against the clock rather than head to head with other competitors.
The snow conditions were great for waxing at a couple of degrees below zero. Saturday had strong winds in the stadium, which made it feel colder and challenged skiers as they raced into the wind. The course was modified slightly in the stadium due to flooding. Sunday dropped in temperature to -5 C, but a bit of sunshine and less wind made it a more pleasant day for skiing overall. The first day’s freestyle distances ranged from 1.5km to 10km depending on the skier’s age, and up to 15km on the second day in the classic event.
The Larch Hills Junior race team sent 60 skiers to the event and had plenty of top-three finishes. Saturday saw top finishes from: Kai Cadden and Zion Bucher (first & second, Atom Boys 2), Tye Major (first, Atom Boys 3), Gideon Breugem (first, Pee Wee Boys), Ian Orchard & Kai Hansen (first & second, Pee Wee Boys 2), Reese Major (first, Pee Wee Girls 2), Colby Cadden (first, Bantam Boys 2), Madeleine Wilkie (second, Bantam Girls 2), Samantha Peterson (third, Midget Girls 1), Hilary Vukadinovic (third, Midget Girls 2), Samantha Vukadinovic (third, Juvenile Girls 1), Sophia Van Varseveld (third, Juvenile Girls 2), Maggie Beckner (first, Junior Girls 1), Natalie Wilkie (first, Junior Girls 2), Sheila Corbett (first, Masters Women 40-49), Laura Hepburn (first, Masters Women 50-59), Ben Van Bergeyk (first, Junior Boys 2), Aiden Hepburn (third, Junior Men 1), and Tom Hansen (first, Masters Men 50-59).
Top 3 finishers on Sunday included: Kai Cadden (first, Atom Boys 2), Tye Major (first, Atom Boys 3), Gideon Breugem (first, Pee Wee Boys 1), Ian Orchard and Kai Hansen (first and second in Pee Wee Boys 2), Reese Major and Keira Cadden (first and third in Pee Wee Girls 2), Dawson Bond and Max Calkins (second and third in Bantam Boys 2), Frankie Ayotte (third, Midget Boys 2), Hilary Vukadinovic and Tessa Elliott (first and third in Midget Girls 2), Julianne Moore and Samantha Vukadinovic (second and third in Juvenile Girls 1), Lys Milne (first, Juvenile Girls 2), Ben Van Bergeyk (first, Junior Boys 2), Sheila Corbett and Megan Brooke (first and third Masters Women 40-49), Maggie Beckner (second, Junior Girls 1), and Kate Milne (third, Junior Girls 2).
It was a strong showing in this series of races for the Larch Hills Junior Race Team. Revelstoke will host the next set of races in the series and Larch Hills will host the final BC Cup championship races March 1-3.
Submitted by Brad Calkins