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Vanier girl snowboarders win B.C. bronze
In what can only be described as a truly bizarre season, the G.P. Vanier girls snowboard team came home from the BC Alpine Provincial Championships at Whistler/Blackcomb sporting bronze medals around their necks.
With the lack of snow early this season at Mount Washington, the local high school racing season came to an abrupt end in January. The Vanier team, however, decided to move forward and after the mountain reopened, with only one gate practice, they represented Vancouver Island at the provincial championships last week.
The boys' ski team placed a respectable 12th place in a highly competitive field. Vanier’s top placing went to Blake Stotzer who sat in 22nd place after day one and finished 23rd in the province after the second day of competition. Maite Duhaime was the lone girls’ skier to represent Vanier and she placed 60th in her first appearance at the provincials.
The week, however, belonged to the girls' snowboard team. Madi Gold led the way on the first day of competition placing fourth in the Giant Slalom, setting the girls up in third place after day one. Kelsey Barton picked up the slack on the second day placing fifth in the Terrain Giant Slalom and ensuring the girls a podium finish.
Keely Orrick and Bryanna Maclaren rounded out the girls’ team, earning points both days which ensured the bronze medal for Vanier. What impressed coaches Ken Erikson and Andrew Young the most was the fact that all four Vanier girls placed in the top 40 riders of the province – this in spite of the fact that they had not raced this season and had just one gate practice.
The Vanier alpine team extends their heartfelt thanks to Mike Manera and the snow school at Mount Washington. In spite of the early season conditions the mountain made every effort to accommodate the three local schools in their efforts to run practices and to hold extra practices after the local racing season was called to an end.
– G.P. Vanier