|The four day Miele Ontario FIS Championships concluded yesterday at the Georgian Peaks Ski Club with a final Giant Slalom race for the 170+ FIS competitors from all over Ontario, Quebec and Eastern United States. The final GS was won by three Quebec athletes, two from the Quebec Ski Team, the winner Graham Scott finishing in a time of 1.41.53. In the women’s race Quebec and the US took the top spots followed by Ontario Ski Team athlete from Craigleith Devon Clarke in 3rd.|
Clarke was also the top J1 athlete (1st and 2nd year on the circuit) winning gold. Overall Ontario FIS Champions were two Ontario Ski Team athletes, Jon Kellock from Georgian Peaks and Randa Teschner from the Ottawa Valley.
The four day series started at Alpine Ski Club with two days of SL followed by the two days the Peaks. AOA President Nancy Esson was on the hill helping all four days and thanked the clubs for hosting the races along with Alpine Ontario, the Provincial Sport body for sport of alpine ski racing in Ontario.
“I want to thank both Alpine Ski Club and Georgian Peaks and its members. Alpine in particular for hosting a FIS race on a weekend, most clubs don’t allow for this and we greatly appreciate the hill space. Conditions were fantastic, cold of course for the first three days, but more so for parents and volunteers as these kids are very experienced; they know how to dress and prepare for the cold since they spend so much of their season in Quebec.”
Weather did play a factor for the 50+ volunteers on the hill each day with boot warmers distributed along with hot drinks for those standing on the hill in -25 temperatures. For the athletes however focus, and a determination to win, block out any weather concerns.
Several local Collingwood area skiers did particularly well including CCI students on the Ontario Ski Team Morgan Megarry and Kyle Farrow and Mac Senior from the National Ski Academy. Megarry, a grade 12 at CCI, won GOLD the 2nd day’s Slalom at Alpine and was second the first day of racing behind Osler coach, Scott Barrett, an alumni racer from Canada’s National Ski Team. Kyle Farrow, grade 11 student at CCI did well on the junior podium. Farrow, from Craigleith, won silver and bronze on the J1 Podium in the Slalom races at Alpine. Lastly Mac Senior, grade 11 student at the National Ski Academy won gold on the junior podium in both Slalom events.
Mac admitted that the cold is not a factor when racing, “It is tough at the start area when we are warming up but once you hit the gates you don’t think about it. I had a great series, my first day at Alpine was awesome, Slalom is my favorite but I’ve yet to race speed so I’m excited to head to Mont Ste Anne this weekend to try out some downhill.”
Other Collingwood residents in the competition were Ryley Remme, from the National Ski Academy, Will Stewart from Alpine and grade 10 students at CCI, and Sophie Kitchen from the Osler Ski Club, also a grade 10 student at CCI.
Miele is the Ontario sponsor for the FIS circuit that includes seven race series throughout Ontario. Upcoming races include races February 18th in Thunder Bay, followed by February 26th in the Ottawa area at the Camp Fortune Ski Club. The series returns to Ontario in March with FIS races at Devil’s Glen on March 10-11th and at the Osler Bluff Ski Club on March 17-20th. Each FIS race takes over 50+ volunteers to ensure the venue is safe, and runs according to the international racing standards. Alpine Ontario thanks its volunteers, recognizing the sport of Alpine Ski Racing would not exist were it not for the parents, coaches and volunteers who pitch in to make it happen.
Next stop for the Ontario FIS racers from Collingwood is Mont Ste. Anne for the annual week of speed racing. Results and news covered on the AOA website.
As the recognized Provincial Sport Organization and promoter of alpine ski racing in Ontario, Alpine Ontario Alpin represents 44 member ski clubs, approximately 30,000 active racers, coaches, officials and volunteers in four divisions: Alpine Ontario South Division, National Capital Division, Lake Superior Division Alpine and Northern Ontario Division. AOA coordinates several successful programs across the province and continues to foster the development of ski racing programs from the grass roots to the elite level.