The past two weeks have been a learning process for five up and coming Sun Peaks athletes as they transitioned from competing provincially to nationally.
For Luc “Air” Dallaire placed fifth overall in the freestyle skiing slopestyle and big air competitions at this past weekend’s Junior National Championship at Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Ont.
He said the competition has motivated him to work on cleaning up his technique and making his grabs more obvious to the judges.
“It wasn’t easy. Now I know I can’t just do like sloppy runs and get top results. I need to really push myself and style everything up, go to my limit,” he said.
At the 2018 Sport Chek U16 National Championships in Collingwood, Ont., Sun Peaks Alpine Racers Brynn Applegath and Noa Hooton went through their own challenges adapting to a higher level of competition.
“Noa and Brynn, especially they’re first year U16’s so they actually have another year of U16 to race in, so the first year one of the goals is just to experience it, be exposed to a higher calibre of racing really seeing what’s out there in the whole country versus just provincially,” said Team B.C. coach Montana Molyneux.
According to Molyneux, all 28 athletes competing from Team B.C. struggled adapting to Ontario’s hard snow and weather conditions.
“They definitely had some challenges. I think the girls provincially struggled with the hard snow and so it took them a few days to even get used to it so they had some challenges just into training on those conditions and racing on those conditions but overall adapted really well,” said Molyneux.
Both Applegath and Hooton are in their first year of the U16 division and their experience on the national stage has been a great motivation for the upcoming season.
“I think it’s kind of motivated them in a few different ways, just one to keep racing with the group of athletes they’re with provincially because it’s a fun and hard-working group and the other motivation was to be able to perform on hard snow,” said Molyneux.
Max Rokosh had back-to-back national competitions at the beginning of March competing in the Canada Snowboard Western Canadian Nationals and Air Nation Canadian Nationals. His national debut was plagued by challenges from snow conditions to minor mistakes in the competition. Despite setbacks Rokosh was able to finish 15 out of 80 competitors.
“Overall it’s pretty stressful because it’s a big competition and you only have two runs to land so you only get two opportunities to get into the finals,” said Rokosh. “Especially if you mess up on the first run you’re really pressured to do good on the second run. You don’t know if you should do a hard run that will score really good or an easy run you know you can land. So overall it’s about making good decisions.”
This past weekend at the Freestyle Ski Junior National Championship, also at Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Justin Rokosh’s competitive season came to an end after he suffered an injury during training.