The Smithers Alpine team poses after their zone qualifications at Powder King.

The Smithers Alpine team poses after their zone qualifications at Powder King.

Gryphons alpine team victorious

Team will head to provincials in Whistler next week


Both the boys and girls Smithers Secondary ski teams finished first at their zones in Prince George two weeks ago and will head to provincials this week in Whistler to compete among B.C.’s best.

“Our skiers did really well,” head coach Mike Daniels said. “But I was expecting them to do well.”

Of the 10 schools in attendance, Smithers brought the largest contingent of skiers to the event.

In the team event, the top four skiers from each club’s times were counted towards the final result.

On the girls side, the Smithers team finished with a combined time of 379.05 seconds, 35 seconds faster than the second place team from Fort St. James.

The boys had a similarly dominating performance, with a combined time of 363.76 seconds, 15 seconds faster than second place Fort St. James.

From an individual standpoint, Anna Tropper finished with an individual time of 85.68 seconds, three seconds faster than the second place girls competitor at the event and Jason Oliemans finished with a time of 83.49 seconds, five seconds up on second place.

The snowboarders were expected to do well at zones, but they had some trouble staying upright. Three of the five boarders fell on at least one of their runs, and as a result the team failed to qualify for provincial competitions.

“It was just a case of them pushing a little too hard,” Daniels said. “Unfortunately when you’re right up against the edge, sometimes things don’t go your way.”

The snowboarding team may still get a place in provincials if one of the other schools from another zone drops out. They expect to find out sometime this week.

There was a silver lining for the snowboarders though, as Terica Reag and Brandon Markert’s times were good enough to qualify for the girls and boys individual provincials competitions.

Entering provincials, Daniels is expecting his team to go toe-to-toe with the province’s best, though he recognizes there is some stiff competition.

“We are quite confident in our team and I’m hoping that we can place in the top three,” Daniels said. “But we are going up against some private schools and ski academies from Whistler and Vancouver and all they do is ski. So there is lots of competition.”

The team is fundraising ahead of their trip to Whistler. To donate, contact Gary Forbes at Smithers Secondary School.