2017 Ski Nationals

A large contingent of local skiers from the Larch Hills Junior Race team competed in the 2017 Cross Country Nationals held at Canmore’s Nordic Centre, site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, March 18–25. The event attracted more than 1000 athletes, coaches and parents from across the country and internationally.

Day 1 saw the Larch Hills boys’ team of Konrad Van Varseveld and David Bakker place 21st in the two-person obstacle-filled Relay Cross Free Technique, while locals Rachel Bates and Rachel May finished the race in 9th place.

Day 2 was the Interval Start Free Technique Race.  Finishes to note were Alexander Corbett, 17th in the 10km Junior Boys race, ,Rachel May, 19th in the 5km Junior Girls, and Natalie Wilkie, 5th , and Maggie Beckner, 15th , in the Juvenile Girls 5 km race.

Day 4 saw strong finishes by Larch Hills skiers in the Interval Start Classic Technique race, with Natalie Wilkie finishing 13th, Rachel Bates 19th and Maggie Beckner close behind at 21stin the Juvenile Girls 5km race and Konrad Van Varseveld 12th in the 7.5 km Junior Boys.  In the 10 km Junior Girls, Rachel May posted a 16th place finish.

On Day 6, the Juvenile Girls once again posted great results in the Sprint Classic Technique, with Rachel Bates the top Larch Hill Skier in 9th place, Maggie Rodwell 16th,  and Megan Hart hot on her heels at 17th.  Rachel May had an impressive finish in the Junior Girl race, placing 5th overall, with Trond May doing well at 10th in Juvenile Boys.

Day 8 was the final day of racing and the Mass Start Free Technique race went well for Larch Hills skiers.  Alexander Corbett finished 17th on the Boys 30 km course.  Natalie Wilkie, who placed 5th overall, was the top local skier in the 7.5 km Juvenile Girls, with Maggie Beckner and Rachel Bates also skiing well, finishing 18th and 19th.  Calvin Hepburn had a good result in the Juvenile Boy 10 km race, finishing 27th.

Once all the racing was done, aggregate points based on the skiers’ top four individual race results were tallied.  Rachel May placed 7th  in 1999 Girls, with Natalie Wilkie taking the bronze aggregate in 2001 Girls andshowing the best overall result for the Larch Hills Team.  Rachel Bates finished 9th in the same category; and Maggie Beckner 10th and Maggie Rodwell 12th   in 2002 Girls.  Alexander Corbett had a great week, finishing 12th in 1997 Boys; while Konrad Van Varseveld, 5th in 2000 Boys, had the second top overall result for Larch Hills.  In 2002 Boys Trond May finished 13th and Calvin Hepburn, 15th. 

Larch Hills Junior Race Team shone nationally, bringing the skiing season to a very successful finish.  Full results can be found on www.zone4.ca.

 

Bantam Sleepover

Friday night many of the Bantams had a sleepover at the Chalet, and packed in some sledding, jumping and skiing on both days.  Thanks coaches Lizzy, Jeff, Jeremy, Tom and Suzy - the kids had a blast!  According to the boys, the girls were the wild ones!

Big win at Midgets!

For the nine to twelve year olds on the Larch Hill Junior Race Team it was another action packed weekend at the Teck BC Midget Championships hosted by the Telemark Ski Team out of Kelowna.  This race was for kids born between 2004 and 2007.  Saturday was an action packed day, starting with a 2 km interval start classic ski race.  The afternoon was the highlight relay event.  Teams of four are formed and the first two racers classic ski and then second two racers skate ski a 1.5 km course.  There are only two categories for the relays, boys and girls.  Costumes are worn and some teams make a real effort and don pretty fantastic costumes.  Saturday night the host club holds a banquet for all racers and then Sunday the King’s Court Sprint races were held.  This event was especially exciting to watch at Telemark as they had a 300m course for the 2006/2007 kids and a 500m course for the 2004/2005 kids.  Both race courses were running at the same time, making for very exciting spectating.  Larch Hills was once again the dominating team and won the overall team trophy collecting 274 points to the second place Revelstoke team with 114 points. 

 

Top 5 Larch Hills finishers in the 2 km classic race were:  2004 girls 1st Julianne Moore, 2nd Samantha Vukadinovic, 3rd Zara Bucher, 4th Isabelle Wilkie, 5th Katie Thielman; 2005 boys 2nd Mitchell Bond, 3rd Frankie Ayotte, 4th Eric Moore; 2005 Girls 2nd Hilary Vukadinovic; 2006 Boys 3rd Jonathon Breugem, 5th Ben Milne; 2007 Boys 1st Dawson Bond, 2nd Max Calkins; 2007 Girls 1st Jeremia Bucher.

For the Relays, the top Larch Hills boys’ team, The Rainbow Unicorns, came 3rd with Jabin Zuidhof, Eric Moore, Jacob Hepburn and Mitchell Bond.  The powerful Larch Hills girls took first and second place in the relays.  First was the Beach Bums made up of Julianne Moore, Talia Brown, Teslyn Bates and Samantha Vukadinovic.  Second was the Lucky Larchies comprised of Isabelle Wilkie, Katie Thielman, Hilary Vukadinovic, and Zara Bucher. 

The Kings Court Sprint race always adds a bit of drama and heartbreak as a fall or tactical error in one of the heats can cost you the win, but you always see great racing and kids competing to the best of their ability.  Top five finishers in this event by age were:  2004 girls 1st Samantha Vukadinovic, 2nd Zara Bucher, 3rd Julianne Moore; 2005 boys 4thMitchell Bond, 5th Eli Decker; 2005 Girls 1st Hilary Vukadinovic; 2006 Girls 5th Tianna Zuidhof; 2007 Boys 4th Dawson Bond, 5th Max Calkins; 2007 Girls 1st Jeremia Bucher.

This was the last race of the season for most of the younger skiers.  The older skiers are preparing for Nationals which are happening over Spring Break in Canmore, AB.  Many Larch Hills ski families will be making the trek over the mountain to either compete in or spectate and see the best skiers in the country compete.

2017 Teck BC Championships at Stake Lake

Larch Hills wins the club trophy for the fourth year in a row!

The Larch Hills Junior Race Ski Team has been busy this month.  Three weeks ago over 30 team members raced to great results in the second of the BC Cup Series in Prince George, following the first race in that series held in Salmon Arm in early January.  Then on Family Day Weekend, Larch Hills locked up the Okanagan Teck Cup Series, beating the second place host club, Revelstoke, 545 points to 369.  Many team members put in spectacular performances and the sunny weather made it a great weekend for racers and spectators alike.

This past weekend was the final race in the Teck BC Series.  Hosted by Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake near Kamloops, the event determines the provincial cross country Championships.  Friday was the mass start classic race, followed by the interval start skate race on Saturday and the relay races on Sunday.  At the end of Saturday’s skate race, individual aggregate points for the season are tallied and the provincial awards handed out.  This year, aggregates were presented to the overall top three racers in each age category.  In order to qualify for an annual aggregate award, skiers must have competed in four of the six BC Cup races and one must have been a classic race.

 

Larch Hills aggregate award winners by agewere:

2008 Girls:           1st - Sapphira Bucher

2008 Boys:           1st - Peter Liebich;  2nd - Asher Zuidhof

2007 Girls:           1st - Jeremia Bucher

2007 Boys:           1st - Max Calkins;  2nd - Dawson Bond

2006 Boys:           1st - Jonathon Breugem;  3rd - Ian van Bergeyk

2005 Girls:           1st - Hilary Vukadinovic;  2nd - Emily Carelse

2005 Boys:           1st - Mitchell Bond

2004 Girls:           1st - Julianne Moore;  2nd - Samantha Vukadinovic;  3rd - Zara Bucher

2003 Girls:           1st - Sophia Van Varseveld;  3rd - Claire van Bergeyk

2003 Boys:           2nd - Trond May

2002 Girls:           1st - Maggie Beckner

2001 Girls:           3rd - Rachel Bates

2000 Boys:           2nd - Konrad Van Varseveld

1999 Girls:           1st - Rachel May

1999 Boys:           3rd - David Bakker

97-98 Boys:         1st - Alexander Corbett;  2nd - Andrew Nash

Open Men:         1st - Adam Elliot

Masters Men

40 – 49:                 2nd - Jeremy Ayotte

 

The BC Championships end with the awarding of the club aggregate trophy, based on the points earned by the skiers over Saturday and Sunday, and, for the fourth year in a row, Larch Hills emerged the winner.  Team members showed off their blue and yellow colours in great numbers to take home the trophy, with participants from as young as four up to adults in their sixties putting in great performances for the Larch Hill ski team all weekend.

The relays are always a highlight as kids and adults don costumes, big smiles, put together with excellent skiing.  Special thanks are always given to our masters men’s and women’s teams for stepping up and giving the kids an opportunity to cheer for their parents.

Haywood Westerns


The Larch Hills Junior Race Team was in action again this weekend at the Haywood Westerns, being hosted by the Callaghan Valley Cross Country club at Whistler.  It was a three day event with Friday being the Buff Sprint Heat Race, Saturday the Classic Interval Start Race and Sunday was Relays.  Skiers came from all over Canada, mainly the Western provinces, but there was even international competition from Australia.

Larch Hills’ skiers did very well considering the depth of competition with several skiers placing in the top ten of their age category. The Midget Girls dominated their category once again.  On Friday’s sprint race the top four midget girls were all from Larch Hills.  First was Claire Van Bergeyk, followed by Zara Bucher, Julianne Moore and Sophia Van Varseveld.  Trond May topped the Midget Boys event, placing first.

On Saturday there were many great results, but once again the Midget Girls took the top four places this time with Julianne Moore leading, followed by Sophia Van Varseveld, Samantha Vukadinovicand Claire Van Bergeyk in fourth.  Trond May once again won the Midget Boys classic race as did Dawson Bond in the Pee Boys category and his dad Glenn Bond in the Master Men 7.5 Classic race.

The Relays represented the best of BC as the provinces faced off against each other.  Trond May was a part of the Midget Boys BC team that went gold and Larch Hills skiers were on the three top teams in the Midget Girls category.  Rachel May was on the BC Junior Girls team that took home Silver and Rachel Bates was on the Juvenille Girls BC Team that went Bronze.

The highlight might have been the Masters Women’s team made up of the Larch Hills Junior Race Team Head Coach Abbi May and two dedicated moms Alison Howatt and Lisa Wherry who took home the Bronze Medal for their efforts in Sunday’s relay. 

Most Improved Time

The Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet this past weekend was a great success, as usual.  It is a real community event, with over 400 registered skiers from age 3 to 80!  Blue skies and a bit warmer weather helped, as did the food on the other side of the finish line.  The Loppet isn't the end of the day, with a free swim at the rec centre followed by food, awards and a family dance.  Beyond the top 3 awards, however, were some great improvements in time from last years' Loppet for individual skiers.  Before the skate ski practice today, Phil W. took a few minutes to recognize the achievements of the 10 skiers that improved their time the most from 2016 to 2017.  The skiers were: Monika W, Tomi W, Taylor P, Sara W, Haileigh P, Eden H, Emma M, Hannah B, Callum O, and Hazel B.  Time improvements ranged from 4m23s to 15m in this group of kids!  Haileigh gets special mention as being on the list three years in a row!!

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