Rossland packed with racers for U16 provincials

There was a flurry of race activity up until Sunday at Red Resort, as the Red Mountain Racers hosted the U19 Provincial Championships.

Red Mountain Racer Soleil Patterson is third from the left in the front row. Patterson finished in sixth place in three out of the four days.

Red Mountain Racer Soleil Patterson is third from the left in the front row. Patterson finished in sixth place in three out of the four days.

There was a flurry of race activity up until Sunday at Red Resort, as the Red Mountain Racers hosted the U19 Provincial Championships.

The races brought in hundreds of people to Rossland and 130 racers took part.

Christine Andison, who helped organize the championship, said the races went well.

“It’s been phenomenal. We’ve had amazing weather and the race course has held up really well,” Andison said, adding that the course was hard packed and consistently solid, something the racers like. “The athletes have been amazing and its been a terrific week. We had clear skies, good visibility for the racers. That’s all they could really ask for.”

Linda Schulze, media relations for the Racers said they had particularly stellar results from local athletes, such as Soleil Patterson.

“Soleil, a born and bred Rosslander stayed the course with a top 10 performance in three of the four races,” Schulze said

Patterson is particularly noteworthy because she is a year younger than the other that were placing in the top 10. She will also be back in the U16 races next year.

Patterson placed sixth in each race, and said she was happy with the results.

“Well, at first I wasn’t too sure about how I’d do, but I finished and had good results,” she said. “I was pretty happy about it.”

This is her fifth year of competitive skiing, and she was the fastest competing skier born in 1998, the rest in the top ten were born in 1997.

To prep for a race, she just goes to bed early the night before, then the next day when she gets to the hill she listens to a certain song and visualizes the run.

When she is at the starting gates she’s thinking about finishing the race, and trying to relax, but admitted that she gets nervous. However she seems to strive under the pressure. Patterson placed sixth in her GS race on Friday and slalom races on Saturday and Sunday. Thursday, she had a competitive second run, but didn’t finish the first run.

Including Patterson, there were three Red Mountain Racers competing in the championship. The other two were Red Mountain Academy students Liene Groeger, from Germany, and Arina Rora, from Romania.

“Both had great results in that they improved on their results as the weekend went on,” Shulze said.

Groeger was even awarded most improved racer. She was quite surprised to win that award.

“I didn’t expect that,” Groeger said.

She enjoyed the Giant Slalom races especially.

“I really liked it,” she said. “The other days were pretty good, but (Sunday) I didn’t finish.”

She said it has been exciting to come to Canada to race, for her sixth month term.

“Everything is a little different. It’s fun,” she said.

For full results go to http://www.redmountainracers.com/results.