Fernie’s Emmett Koles placed first in the 2-Run Men’s Giant Slalom.  Photo courtesy of FAST

Fernie’s Emmett Koles placed first in the 2-Run Men’s Giant Slalom. Photo courtesy of FAST

Local athletes shine at U14 provincials

Approximately 200 athletes competed over the weekend from as far away as Prince George, B.C.

From March 23-25, Fernie hosted the Teck U14 Provincials at Fernie Alpine Resort. Several local athletes made podium finishes.

Approximately 200 athletes competed over the weekend from communities as far away as Prince George, B.C.

Kaleb Barnum of the Fernie Alpine Ski Team placed first in the 2-Run Men’s Slalom with a combined time of 1:15:36, just 11 milliseconds faster than the second place finisher, Dylan Stevens of Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club. Overall, Barnum finished second in the U14 B.C. racers for 2017/18. In third for the 2-Run Men’s Slalom came Liam Vanhooren of the Fernie Alpine Ski Team.

Fernie’s Piper Whelan tied Whistler’s Kaila Lafreniere for first overall in the 2017/18 season. Piper placed second in both her 2-Run Ladies’ Giant Slalom as well as her 2-Run Ladies’ Slalom.

Fernie’s Emmett Koles took top spot in the 2-Run Men’s GS, 0.4 seconds ahead of Whistler’s Duncan Ross. Koles took fifth spot overall in the U14 B.C. racers, this season.

Fernie has been trying to bid on this event for many years and they were excited to finally be able to host it.

The last time Fernie hosted provincials was over 10 years ago, and many people remember it due to the unfortunate rain that crashed the party. This time, it was different story, as they were greeted by sun for two out of three race days, and were also able to ski some great powder.

“Yes it rains here every now and then, but we showed them what powder is like from a Fernie perspective,” said FAST President Steven Koles.

“These kids from Vancouver that ski at Grouse Mountain and Seymour, they don’t ski powder ever, so they were pretty enthused to be able to go and do some powder runs while they were waiting for their race.”

On Sunday, to finish up a weekend of good racing, athletes teamed up to participate in a team dual slalom race. The teams were made up of the four different zones in B.C., the Kootenay Zone, the Okanagan zone, the North zone and the Coast zone. The Coast ended up finishing on top with the Kootenay zone following close behind.

Brady Leman, Gold Medalist in the 2018 Winter Olympics Men’s Ski Cross presented athletes with their medals.

After the Fernie club’s home championships and banquet concluded the following weekend, this marked the end of the season for most of the Fernie athletes.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Koles when asked about the 2017/18 winter season.

FAST had a record number of athletes enroll for the 2017/18 season; 255 kids. Koles admitted that yes, they have many kids from Calgary, but said this season also marked the record number of local athlete enrollment as well.

Koles said he saw great results from the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation which helped sponsor some of their athletes this year.

“Overall it’s just been a really fun season of great events, home and away races,” he said.

The Free Press