Sea to Sky Nordics members had a successful showing at the BC Winter Games in Fort St. John from Feb. 20 to 23.
Squamish’s Jojo Ng and Whistler’s Ryan Clark got in on the gold rush by finishing first in the boys’ relay competition and biathlon team.
“It felt pretty good. I worked very, very hard for this,” Clark said. “It felt really good to be with [Ng] for this relay and to get a medal.
“We work pretty well together. We worked a lot on the handover. When he would come in to tag me, or I would go in to tag him, we would yell which side we’re going to tag off on so then we can get an idea of how it played out before we actually go out on course.”
Clark also took fifth in the individual event and sixth in the sprint. Teammate Graham Benson brought home silver in the individual and fourth in the sprint while also teaming with Ng, Squamish’s Josie Clifford and Pemberton’s Sophie Firth for silver in the mixed team relay. Firth took fourth in the individual and fifth in the sprint, while Ng was seventh in individual and fifth in the sprint, and Clifford placed eighth in the sprint.
On the cross-country skiing side, Squamish resident and Sea to Sky member Marin Lowe took home three silver medals, finishing second in the sprint race, classic race and in the relay with fellow Squamish product Jasper Fleming, and Dustin Hay and Madeleine Pollock, both of North Vancouver.
Lowe’s greatest challenge came out of the gate in the sprint race, as a mistake in the quarterfinal nearly knocked her out of contention early.
“I crashed on the uphill, so I was in third. The top two from that heat move onto the semifinals,” she said. “Then the girl ahead of me crashed and I was in second. It was such a chaotic race that I was very lucky to make it to semifinals.”
Lowe said the course, at just 400 metres long, was shorter than anything else she’d experienced and flatter than her home stadium at Whistler Olympic Park, though she managed to put her plan into effects.
“You just have to go all out. It’s just so short that when you’re at the finish, you’re not even out of breath as you are in a normal race,” she said.
Lowe said she felt strong in the classic contest and was thrilled to take another silver, while in the relay, she enjoyed the opportunity to serve as the anchor and finish the race for the team.
“It was such a cool experience being able to finish for my team,” said Lowe, who skate-skied in the relay.
Lowe enjoyed the excitement of the opening ceremonies, walking in with all of her Zone 5 teammates.
“It was a really neat experience because there were so many people in the auditorium walking in and cheering for their zone,” she said.
Other locals in the cross-country contest were Fleming, who won gold in the sprint and was eighth in classic, and Talon Pascal from Mount Currie, who was 16th in classic and 17th in the sprint.
Clark, meanwhile, credited organizers for putting together a well-run event, while he also enjoyed taking part in the opening ceremonies and watching speed skating and gymnastics.
Several alpine athletes were also in action, completing a two-day slalom, including: Olivia Imregi (sixth); Hannah Jensen (16th); Vanessa Young (17th); Lola Gilbert (18th); and Sophia Cross (27th).
On the men’s side, Pearce Manning Avini placed fourth, Joseph James Gibbons was 13th, Seth Robert placed 35th, Braden Aitken took 36th, and Thomas Legg and Maxim Akbulatov suffered disqualifications.
All local athletes represented Vancouver-Coastal, which led the way with 111 medals, including 41 gold.
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