Podium sweep in provincial championships

Pearse, Abraham and Rokosh atop of the podium in Big White. | PHOTO Submitted

Winter will end too soon for the Sun Peaks Snowboard Club (SPSC).

Head coach Danny Webb said his charges are just finding their stride, seeing the results of a season’s worth of hard work, most notably at the final event of the Ride On Provincial Snowboard Series at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna earlier this month.

“The under-19 boys, they’d never entered a boarder cross competition and they rocked up to the B.C. provincial championship and swept the podium,” Webb said.

“I knew they were awesome riders, but they had never been in a competition at that
level before.”

Finishing first, second and third, respectively, in the under-19 men’s snowboard cross division on March 5 were Ben Pearse, 15, Markus Abraham, 15, and Max Rokosh, 16.

“We were just like, ‘Let’s go out there and have fun and see how we do,’” Webb said. “They just kept on going through the heats and they were all together in the final four.”

Pearse also placed well in the under-19 slopestyle competition on March 4, finishing fifth among 17 entrants. He is two years younger than the first-place finisher and three years younger than the silver-medal winner.

In under-15 slopestyle action, Connor Barrett and Jax Anderson each reached the
semifinal round.

“We’ve seen such a huge improvement since the start of the season,” Webb said, noting Jackson Steed and Merek De Witte had strong performances at Big White.

“The boys started off hitting some jumps and having one or two safety tricks. They went into this competition having five or more different tricks they can throw off jumps and rail tricks they’ve been learning.”

Webb also helps out coaching the Kamloops First Nations Snowboard Team, which received a standout performance from Rayne Porter, who placed third in women’s snowboard cross.
“She was so pumped,” Webb said.

The SPSC formed this season, a competitive incarnation of the Bluebird Day Fund (BDF) Park Sessions program. The BDF and Sun Peaks Resort LLP help fund the club.
There were 11 training days on the schedule this season. The Ride On stop at Mount Seymour in January marked the first competition in club history.

Competing in the under-19 category, Rokosh placed third in slopestyle to become the first rider in club history to reach the podium at a Ride On event.

The competitive season is over and focus is turning to next winter.

Webb would like to see his crew attend more events in 2017-18, including one a little closer to home.

“I’m trying to get Sun Peaks to join up with BC Snowboard to see if we can get some kind of event going here next winter,” Webb said, noting the resort will also hold the 2018 B.C. Winter Games.

“We’ve got everything we need up here.”