Phoenix racers end season with home hill races
Phoenix Mountain was a hive of activity Saturday, Mar. 10 when it hosted 120 racers for the Nancy Greene Ski League finals for the West Kootenay Zone. The local Phoenix Mountain Racers entered two teams and took home silver and bronze, while Whitewater took first place out of a field of 13 teams.
Teams came from Red Mountain, Whitewater, Salmo and Summit Lake to race the fast giant slalom course.
“We had a super turnout for our race,” commented Astrid Kihl, one of three head coaches for Phoenix. “Our own kids, even the youngest and newest to the team all raced except for two kids who were ill. For a few, like Danica and Danae Roodzant and Zaylen Romaine it was their first race ever.
“I’m seeing way more confidence in these young racers. Having everyone participate in the zone final was the icing on the cake to wrap up a terrific season. It’s been an awesome year for the club – lots of fun and great effort by all the kids.”
New to this year’s zone final was a coaches’ only race with 14 coaches from all the hills competing. Guy Forand-Choiniere and Bill Ahrens represented Phoenix. Forand-Choiniere set a blistering pace netting him the gold while Ahrens, 69, placed respectably in the middle of the pack racing against several coaches in their 20s.
“It was a lot of fun to get in there and race the course all our kids had just finished. The crowd was all for it. I’d love to make it a tradition,” Ahrens commented.
Thanks to some amazing support from a hardworking crew of volunteers, the day was a huge success.
The Phoenix Mountain racers would also like to thank the many Grand Forks businesses who supported the team and its endeavors this year: Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 59, Smuland Contracting, Buy Low Foods, Overwaitea, Deadwood Junction, Jogas, Grand Forks Credit Union. Thanks for a fabulous season!!