Four Red Mountain Racers have qualified to attend the BC Winter Games in Penticton this year.
Heiko Ihns from Castlegar and Kristof Panke, Hanna Schulze and Sage Stefani from Rossland, all U14 athletes, qualified during the Kootenay Zone Race held at Red Mountain over the weekend.
Ihns got first place in four races over the weekend.
Panke got second place in both races on Friday, third place in both races on Saturday, and third place in both races on Sunday.
Schulze came third on both of Friday’s races and fourth on Sunday’s second race.
“I went there once for soccer already and it was a really fun experience, so I’m really excited to hopefully do it again,” she said.
Like many racers on Friday, Schulze felt the course started out soft, but felt it had firmed up by the second race.
“It was really, really soft, so my outside ski was going all over the place, so I didn’t feel that good, but the course definitely firmed up a little bit,” she said.
Stefani placed fourth during Friday’s first race.
The U14 skiers were the only ones eligible to qualify for the Winter Games over the weekend, but other Red Mountain Racers also performed well in the Kootenay Zone Race.
Gavin Patterson, Noah Lunn and Arlo Henderson did well in the U16 Mens category, sharing the podium for every race. Patterson placed first in five races and third in the sixth; Lunn placed first in one race, second in four races, and third in one; Henderson took second in two races, and third in four.
On the women’s side, September Stefani took home gold for the U18 ladies.
Samantha Gaul from Rossland competed in U16 Ladies and got first place in both of Friday’s and Saturday’s races.
Conditions were fairly foggy throughout the weekend, but asked on Friday if it was impacting her performance, Gaul said it wasn’t that bad.
“You basically are still looking ahead two gates, as you usually are, so it didn’t make a massive difference,” she said.
Her sister Freesia Gaul also competed over the weekend in the U12 category. Freesia placed third in Friday’s second race, ninth on both of Saturday’s races, and eighth on Sunday’s first race.
Marcus Hamm from Rossland also competed in U12, but on the Men’s side. He placed tenth on Sunday’s second race.
Hamm was glad for the fog, as he felt it gave the Red Mountain Racers an advantage.
“We were racing on it last weekend so we were really hoping it would be foggy, because then we would have an advantage from the other people,” he said.
Christine Andison, president of the Red Mountain Racers, said that overall the weekend was a success.
“Everything went extremely well and [Sunday] was a little extra work with the snow falling, but it all came together nicely, and it was a very successful weekend for everyone,” she said.
Andison would like to thank all of the volunteers who make events like this possible.
“Without the parent volunteers and past alumni volunteers that come out and help us, there’s no way we could pull off these kinds of events and pull them off so successfully,” she said.
For full results from the weekend’s races, visit bcalpine.com/calendar/event/?event=1886&cal=1.