By Karen McColl
Some of Revelstoke’s speediest 11- and 12-year olds competed in the Kinder (K1) giant slalom ski racing events at Revelstoke Mountain Resort this past weekend in the 3rd Okanagan-zone race of the season. The Revelstoke Ski Club welcomed alpine racers from Big White, Vernon, Sun Peaks and Apex, as well as an out-of-zone contingency from Windermere.
The weekend was run as three separate giant slalom events, with two races held on Saturday and a two-run combined event on Sunday.
Sunday’s races were especially grand for young local skier Mitch Smith. As the Revelstoke Ski Club’s Todd Hicks put it in announcing the winners Sunday, he “ripped it up on his hometown slopes” and won the Men’s Combined. Sonia Schwenck skied consistently in all three events, finishing third and fifth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday in the Ladies’ events.
K1 Head Coach Ned Lazarevic was pleased with the weekend’s results and credits the young athletes’ success to their strong physical condition and drive.
“They are working really hard; I’m really pleased with how they are skiing,” he said. “(Saturday) was also good for us.”
Max Scharf of the Revelstoke Ski Club won Saturday morning’s race and placed second in the afternoon. Smith had a fourth place finish on Saturday.
Revelstoke’s Anne-Marie Duchesne and Callum Hicks appeared far from hindered over the weekend despite their matching broken thumbs. On Sunday they finished 8th and 9th respectively in the Ladies’ and Men’s Combined.
K1 racers compete in both giant slalom and slalom events until they enter the K2 program at age 13, at which time they are also introduced to Super G racing.
In addition to zone races, Revelstoke K1 racers can look forward to attending the Provincials at Red Mountain in Rossland in March and if they are lucky, the Western Canadian Championships.
According to Lazarevic, three female and three male competitors may have the opportunity to compete in this event at Norquay Mountain in Banff starting Feb. 20. Select racers from British Columbia through to Manitoba will be competing.
The next events to be hosted by the Revelstoke Ski Club and RMR include a Nancy Greene race on February 6 and the Western Canadian Championships for K2 racers March 25-28.