Members of the Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club at Big White earlier this month.

Members of the Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club at Big White earlier this month.

Boarders find podium in provincial competition

Snowboarders with the Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club returned with a handful of medals from at provincial competition at Big White

Snowboarders with the Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club returned with a handful of medals after a strong performance at a provincial competition at Big White.

Eight members competed in the Like Me Snowboard Series competition in Kelowna from Feb. 14-15.

“Every one of those kids did 100 per cent of what they were capable of,” said Warren Pali, head snowboard coach.

“I was extremely proud of every single one of them. It was our first big road trip for the snowboard side of the club, so it was amazing to see the effort they put out.”

Local snowboarders swept the podium in the U10 boys category, with Tosh and Toan Krauskopf finishing first and second, while Luke Pali placed third.

Pali said the trio remained focused on memorizing the course and getting a feel for the terrain.

“They spent a bunch of time on Friday going over their rides for the courses and knowing exactly what banks were coming at them; they were very focused for their age,” he said.

Jack Moran and Jasper Rysavy were also semi-finalists in the U10 boys and Cole Pali was a semi-finalist in the U13/14 category. Jason Belisle took home silver in the 19+ men’s category.

According to Pali, it was the girls’ races that surprised him the most, with Megan Fraser finishing second on Saturday’s race and Brianna Belisle capturing bronze during Sunday’s race in the U13 category.

“It’s [Brianna’s] first year in the club, I thought it was going to be a learning experience for her, a great first step to be on a new mountain,” said Pali. “She went there and performed beyond everybody’s expectations and managed to pull a medal out of the weekend, which is pretty unheard of for someone’s first year in the club.”

Belisle admitted she was nervous before the race.

“It was my first race, I was really nervous at first, but there wasn’t really much to be worried about,” said the 11-year-old.

“When I first got there I thought I was going to crash a lot of times, but I did way better than I thought.”