It was a good kick-off for the snowboard season as a small group of Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club athletes headed to Big White for their first snowcross event of the season.
Saturday, Jasper Matthe led the team with a win in the Under 19 Male division. Not far behind in their own divisions, Luke Pali in the boys under 13 and Katie Peterson in the girls under 15, both took second places.
Also with top finishes for the day were Avril Thom-Lucy with fourth in the under 15 female, Peyton Belisle’s fourth in the under 13 female and Brianna Belisle’s fifth in the under 15 female category.
Day two of the competition saw more top results. Peterson notched another second place to lead the group.
Three boarders came up with third places: Matthe in the U19 male, Peyton Belisle in the U13 female and Pali, this time in the U15 male division. Thom-Lucy was sixth in the U15 female.
Coach Warren Pali said that the group had a training day on Friday before the competition began and seemed to get better and better with each run.
“We had a very strong crew that went down. We had some veterans who have been around for a few years and one who was brand new and had never raced on the track before, and she ended up with a third place today,” he said.
“That was Peyton Belisle. She wasn’t really sure she wanted to come down. Every run she kept getting more confident and now I don’t think we’ll be able to stop her,” he added.
Pali said that wind conditions were marginal on Sunday. They were able to race and he was pleased with the results.
He is pleased with the development of the younger athletes who have been with the program for some time and have the benefit of developing over the years.
Next competition for some of the athletes will be the BC Winter Games in mid-February in Sun Peaks, and then back for the provincial finals.