The North Zone Provincial qualifiers for high school ski and snowboard are here Thursday and Friday on Hudson Bay Mountain with around 150 youngsters representing their schools.
Smithers Secondary has 30 athletes vying for placings that will qualify them to advance to the provincial championships.
Coach Gary Forbes says that the Smithers squad is looking strong and hopes to finish in the top two rankings. The four fastest finishers from each team will be used in scoring the team standings in each of the snowboard and skiing disciplines.
Forbes said that in the snowboard competition, Cole Pali and Jaydin Haskins for the boys and Lexi Pence for the girls will be leading the locals, while Liam and Kalum Huxtable in the boys and Chantelle Wickison in girls will be leading the charge in skiing.
Forbes said that most of the team was young but they still had high hopes in the zone competition.
“It’s really a building year. Most are in Grade 8 and 9 and don’t have a lot of experience,” he said. “This is a building year and we have lots of really keen kids.”
Learning racing skills and having fun have been the key elements this year and next year he is looking at an even larger squad.
Thursday and Friday the events start at 10:45 a.m. for the first run and continue with the second run at 12:45 p.m. Thursday are the snowboard races and Friday will be the downhill ski races.
The weather report calls for around -13, but Forbes feels that conditions will be good for fast racing.