Fynn Stasiuk

Bulkley Valley Nordic skiers rack up 16 Top-3 finishes at B.C. Championships

Seven-year-old Myles Rosenberger had two wins as Bulkley Valley Nordic skiers racked up more than a dozen Top-3 finishes and almost 40 Top-10s at the B.C. Cross Country Ski Championships in Prince George March 4-6.

The highlights came early as the youngest Smithers skiers made short work of the courses. Myles Rosenberger overtook the entire field to win both the mass start and interval start races, then joined teammate Ethan Chapman and brother Ethan Rosenberger to claim second in Sunday’s relay.

“Half of your winnings go to your wax team,” advised wax lead Chris Werrell. Myles dutifully returned to the wax tent with half a cookie.

U10 skiers Juliette Fleury-Allen and Ellie-Mae Werrell were similarly inspired, skiing to third and fourth respectfully in both the skate and classic ski races, then combining to finish first in the relay at their introduction to BC Championships racing.

The Cullen brothers, Elliot and Isaac, who have both shown rapid technical progress this winter, had strong performances in Saturday’s U12 skate race.

The Smithers U14 boys, Jesse Wimbush, Alex Forsyth and Adrian Wickham, skied to third in the relay.

“The relay was a highlight of the race weekend,” reflected Jesse. “That and hanging out between races with the team and with skiers from other clubs.”

The task of tuning the racers’ skis for optimum grip and glide fell to coach Chris Werrell. Werrell was in his comfort zone and was able to guide a team of enthusiastic technicians toward the goal of providing top-quality skis. His mentorship was key to the weekend’s success.

Wynter Lilles, a U14 skier, showed impressive technique and great endurance, putting grip and glide to good use and moving quickly throughout her BC Championships debut.

A U20 girls relay team featuring Chloe Williston, Darah Gillis, and Ava Wimbush were seventh fastest in the province, and the same result was attained by the masters men: Caedmon Dunbar, Patrick Williston, and Ryan Chapman.

The Bulkley Valley masters women, Helene Fleury, Jodi Preto and Laura Hols-Wimbush placed eighth.

When not warming up, racing, cooling down, and cheering their teammates, a few skiers combed the Prince George thrift shops while others took in the excitement of a Prince George Cougars game.

The Saturday night awards ceremony featured dancing and two years’ worth of fireworks.

It was a successful weekend of racing for the Bulkley Valley squad, with a great team atmosphere and very likely the loudest cheering section at the Championships.

The event, which featured three days of racing at the Otway Nordic Centre, attracted 395 athletes from 22 clubs from across British Columbia and the Yukon.

The weekend featured a classic distance race, a freestyle race, and a classic relay with teams of three skiers.

The courses were steep and technical, designed to meet the highest level of competition. This made for challenging skiing and coach Andrew Brisbin had made sure the Bulkley Valley skiers were ready.

Next up for the Smithers skiers, the National Championships in Whistler March 20-27, where three Bulkley Valley racers, Finley Gagnon, Ava Wimbush, and Chloe Williston, will race against the best in the nation.

Sources indicate that the U.S. National Ski Team will also be attending the event, featuring Olympic superstar Jessie Diggins.

– Patrick Williston

March 4 Classic Mass Start

Myles Rosenberger; U8 boys

1 Antje von Seydlitz; U40 women

2 Richard Harrison; U70 men

3 Juliette Fleury-Allen; U10 girls

3 Ryan Chapman; U50 men

4 Ellie-Mae Werrell; U10 girls

4 Ava Wimbush; U16 girls

5 Ethan Roseberger; U10 boys

5 Jesse Wimbush; U14 boys

7 Ethan Chapman; U10 boys

8 Chloe Williston; U18 girls

March 5 Freestyle Interval Start

1 Myles Rosenberger; U8 boys

1 Ethan Rosenberger; U10 boys

2 Dan Hamhuis; U40 men

2 Ryan Chapman; U50 men

2 Richard Harrison; U70 men

Juliette Fleury-Allen; U10 girls

3 Finn Rosenberger; U12 boys

3 Ava Wimbush; U16 girls

4 Ellie-Mae Werrell; U10 girls

4 Helene Fleury; U60 women

5 Morgan Hamhuis; U12 girls

5 Jesse Wimbush; U14 boys

Ethan Chapman; U10 boys

6 Gabriel Wimbush; U12 boys

8 Clay Nisbet; U10 boys

8 Benji Wickham; U12 boys

8 Chloe Williston; U18 girls

9 Mila Stasiuk; U12 girls

9 Patrick Williston; U50 men

10 Adrian Wickham; U14 boys

10 Ben Forsyth; U50 men

March 6 Classic Relay

1 Juliette Fleury-Allen, Ellie-Mae Werrell, Lucy Inden; U10 girls

Ethan Chapman, Ethan Rosenberger, Myles Rosenberger; U10 boys

Jesse Wimbush, Alex Forsyth, Adrian Wickham; U14 boys

7 Chloe Williston, Darah Gillis, Ava Wimbush; U20 girls

7 Caedmon Dunbar, Patrick Williston, Ryan Chapman; masters men

8 Helene Fleury, Jodi Preto, Laura Hols-Wimbush; masters women


Darah Gillis

Eden Dunbar