Larch Hills claims BC club championship
Larch Hills has done it again.
At the 2012 BC Championships held Feb. 18 and 19 at Larch Hills Ski Area, the Larch Hills Nordic Society won the coveted club championship trophy for the second year in a row.
About 380 racers took part in the final and largest race in the three-race BC Cup series, held for the first time in Salmon Arm.
Out of 19 cross-country ski teams, Larch Hills claimed the club trophy by a “landslide,” said one of the key event organizers and Chief of Competition Louise Bruns, who, along with many dedicated volunteers, was credited with organizing the championships by LHNS race team coach Phil Wallensteen.
“I really thank Louise and the volunteers for taking on this event. The home course advantage really helped us. It’s something we haven’t had before at this race.”
The race was open to B.C. skiers of all ages, from Atoms to 70+ Masters.
Several local female Masters skiers were key in helping Larch Hills secure the club trophy, said Wallensteen, who was pleased to see several generations of some families out competing.
About 370 racers entered in the individual classic-technique interval-start races on Saturday, when a fresh snowfall posed demanding waxing conditions. On Sunday, under improved snow conditions, about 130 three-person teams entered the skate-technique relays.
The relay event featured many fun team names, like Fast Trouble and Gorilla Girls, and colourful costumes included items like pajamas, hula skirts and neon hairbands.
In the junior boys relay, LHNS racer Andrew Nash, 13, helped his team to a 24:11 min. second-place finish. Nash took 7:54 mins. to ski the final 2.5-kilometre loop for his team, who finished 26 seconds behind a trio from Vancouver’s Hollyburn Ski Club. Nash had hoped for a top-place finish.
“You can’t be too upset. Everyone has bad races,” said Nash, who was pleased with the weekend.
A Shuswap Middle School Grade 8 student, Nash finished third in Saturday’s 5-km classic race.
“Waxing on Saturday was frustrating. There was too much grip and no glide. I had to run down hills, but other than that it’s lots of fun and a great event.”
Nash is bound for the Feb. 23-26 BC Winter Games in Vernon where he’ll compete in both individual classic and sprint races.
In individual races, first-place Larch Hills racers were: Stephen Moore in the Pee Wee Boys A 2-km classic; Keeya Corbett in the Pee Wee Girls A 2-km classic; John Connor in the Juvenile Boys 7-km classic; Brian May in the 1962-’71 Male 15-km classic; Gary Hartling in the 1942-’51 Male 15-km classic; Adrienne Underhill in the Junior Female 10-km classic; Abbigail May in the 1962-’71 Female 10-km classic; Marcia Beckner in the 1942-’51 Female 10-km classic; and Gullan Hansen in the 1941 and over Female 10-km classic.
Larch Hills’ first-place team finishes went to: Team Dadenrad Vanizikers made up of Konrad van Varseveld, David Bakker and Jaeden Izik-Dzurko in the Boys 3x1.5-km free relay and Team Scrambled Leggs, made up of Randi Ostby, Sheila Corbett and Abbi May in the Senior Women’s 3x3.5-km free relay.
Other top-three Larch Hills finishers were, in the Atom Boys 1.5-km classic, Eric Moore with second.
In the Atom Girls 1.5-km classic, Sophia van Varseveld also placed second.
In PeeWee Girls A 2-km classic, Lillian Bakker took second and Maggie Beckner, third.
In PeeWee Boys B 3.5-km classic, Konrad van Varseveld placed third.
In Junior Boys 10-km classic, Thomas Hardy was second. In the 1962-’71 Male 15-km classic, George Jackson placed third.
In the 1941 and older male, 15-km classic, Blaine Carson took third. In 1962-’71 Female 10-km Classic, Randi Ostby placed second.
In the 1942-’51 Female 10-km classic, Pauline Hickson placed second and Mary Hamilton third.
Bruns was very pleased with the successful race weekend, particularly when thrilled Larch Hills racers and coaches accepted the club championship trophy on the porch of the log ski chalet.
“Everybody piled together, holding up the trophy. It was a really special moment.”
Planning the event “was a bit like having a full time job for six weeks before the race,” chuckled Bruns, who credited many “amazing, skilled” LHNS volunteers who worked together to make the event happen.
An awards ceremony with refreshments and desserts was held at the community centre on Saturday evening.
“Everything went smoothly. We had good feedback from coaches, parents and athletes.”
The BC Cup Series is used to determine provincial team selections for the BC Ski Team, BC Development Squad and BC Talent Squad.
For results, go to Zone 4 Results, BC Championships at https://zone4.ca/results.asp?id=4584.