Going into our final race February 15, the SAC Alpine Ski team was very confident. With all three teams sitting in first place, we were well positioned to vie for the CISAA championships in each division, and we certainly had the athletes to do it.
After the first morning run, our U14 and Level 1 (school-trained team) were firmly rooted in first place, with at least three of our racers in the top eight. Our level 2 team was not so fortunate, but we still were within striking distance, sitting third overall. As often is the case in ski racing, however, things changed dramatically in our second run. Despite skiing our stronger discipline (slalom), one miscue after another, saw some of our key racers fall out of contention or crash and be disqualified. Our leads in Level 1 and U14 quickly vanished, and in level 2, we fell even further behind.
In the end, it was just not our day. Inconsistency in our afternoon runs dropped our teams well out of contention and saw them end the day in third (U14), second (Level 1) and fourth (Level 2) .To say these results were disappointing is a huge understatement, but these types of days happen to every ski team at some point, as the tolerances between winning and losing often comes down to a single run or one lost edge.
Despite the results, Coaches Carolyn Bilton, Nicholas Day, and I are incredibly proud of the effort, tenacity, and dedication of all the School's racers this season. As well, we were very impressed with how they handled themselves given the disheartening results today.
Despite the finish to our season, there were a number of bright spots: Charlie Elliott (Level 1) and Ryan Henderson (U14) finished the season with gold medals as the top individual racer in their divisions. Kieran Walters also had an amazing year finishing fourth (U14), and Cooper Scullion-Smeenk and Hunter Appelbe finished seventh overall (Level 1 and 2 respectively).
While the season is over for the vast majority of the team, due to strong results earlier in the season, Charlie Elliott, Cooper Scullion-Smeenk, Tony Sul, Alex Bordage, and Sebastian Murphy Ives all qualified to represent SAC and CISAA at the Provincial Championships in a couple of weeks. They are more determined than ever, and I know that they are quite eager to move past today's results and focus on an even bigger prize.
Story by Coaches Jamie Inglis, Nicholas Day, and Carolyn Bilton