Local racers come home with national experience

The B.C. Alpine Team at nationals. Photo Supplied.

Josh Jacoby and Beckett Hooton found out what competition looks like at the highest level at the Under 16 Canadian Alpine Skiing Championships.

The two Sun Peaks Racers and program director, Montana Molyneux, trekked across the country to the event, which ran from Feb. 21 to Feb. 26 in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“It was about results,” Molyneux said. “The goal at nationals was about B.C. being a strong province and, for those kids who made it, it was their chance to compete on a national level to see how fast they can go and how they compare.”

Both Jacoby and Hooton were ranked among the top 14 males in the Under 16 B.C. Alpine standings, which qualified them for nationals.

There were five competitions at the Canadian championships.

In the Super G, Jacoby placed 53rd and Hooton was 56th; in the Alpine Combined (one Super G run, followed by a Slalom run), Hooton was eighth, while Jacoby did not finish his Slalom run; Jacoby was 49th and Hooton did not finish the Giant Slalom; both skiers recorded DNFs in the night-slalom races and took part in the parallel team slalom races.

“Beckett had a really good day in the Super Combined,” Molyneux said. “Josh’s Slalom race is what stuck out to me.

“The kids came away knowing what it’s like to really push yourself at a race. We basically told them, ‘You earned the right to be here, now see what you can do.’”

Nathan Romanin, who skis out of Whistler, won the overall boys’ title, fighting through icy, hard snow conditions unfamiliar to most Team B.C. skiers.

“There was a big crew of kids that were really there to compete,” Molyneux said. “You can really use that as motivation to take to the next level.

“A lot of them will move up to FIS, where you race nationally much more often.”

More national races might be in their future, but Hooton and Jacoby still had work to do this season at the final B.C. Alpine Teck Open Series event, which ran from March 9 to 12 in Whistler.

“The nationals was an amazing experience and some of the races went really well,” Molyneux said.

“The kids learned if you want to turn up your skiing, this is how you do it.”