The Phoenix Mountain Racers began the racing season in fine form on Jan. 20 at Red Mountain, bringing home a team silver medal in the first Rio Tinto Alcan West Kootenay Zone Race.
Seamus Carlyle put in an impressive performance, netting him an individual silver medal in the U12 division.
Teams were entered from Whitewater, Red, Phoenix, Salmo and Summit Lake; close to 150 racers, in the first race of the 2013 season.
Coaches Bill Ahrens, Ben Churchill and Astrid Kihl, have been working hard with the kids since Jan. 5. “Our program is growing, and we are working on providing a consistent training routine,” Churchill noted. “The parent volunteers have been stellar, and are integral to our success as a team. The kids are really putting in their best effort this year during practice.”
The Red Mountain race was a Dual GS format, which means that kids are racing side-by-side, and gates are spaced wider apart to allow them to gather more speed. “The Red Mountain course tends to be icy and a bit steep for the younger kids, but all of our racers were calm and enthusiastic, and our results show that,” says Kihl, whose son Seamus garnered a personal best result at the race. “We are really proud of all our racers, and look forward to making this our best race season ever.”
The West Kootenay Zone Finals are to be held at Phoenix Mountain on March 10. Come out to watch some exciting ski racing, and support our local team!
– Submitted by Nancy Gabrielse