AFC alumni enjoy solid runs during NorAm
Jordan Kober and Connor Spence hoped for the same finish in the NorAm held at Apex Mountain over the weekend.
Both Penticton skiers wanted to have solid runs in the circuit run, one level below the world cup.
“I really just wanted to make it to the bottom without crashing,” laughed Kober, who crashed in Telluride, Col., two weeks earlier. “Just put down a decent run. That’s what I did so I’m pretty happy.”
Five Canadians took home five medals over the two days, including Simon Lemieux and Luke Ulsifer sharing the podium with gold and bronze respectively on Saturday. Ulsifer also found himself on the podium again on Sunday in the dual moguls. Spence was the highest-placing Apex Freestyle Club alumni at 19th, Jordan Kober was 34th, Noah Spence (B.C. freestyle mogul team) placed 54th in the dual qualifier and Joshua Kober (Whistler Academy) was 55th.
“I felt I performed better the second day,” said Spence, a member of the Whistler Academy mogul team. “I didn’t have a great run (on the first day). I just felt that my performance level was higher.”
Spence liked how his training process went leading into the dual qualifier as it gave him a better base for competition.
“It’s hard competition. Lots of good skiers,” said the 16-year-old, who enjoyed being back home with time to see his family. “Lots of talent.”
Spence now said he feels more confident in competing as best he can.
Kober, 16, also said it was good to be back at Apex and added it’s a harder course compared to Colorado.
“The course there was super flat,” he said. “(Apex) It kind of separates the good from the really good.”
When it came to his performance, Kober admitted he wasn’t at his best as he was looking to rebound after crashing in Telluride. Kober said he was definitely better on a course he is familiar with.
“I feel like I’m moving in the right direction at least,” he said, adding that he was among the youngest competitors at Apex. “I’m still pretty happy but I definitely had a few mistakes that if I hadn’t made those, I definitely would have been 10 places higher at least.”
Kober said other mogul skiers were performing jumps with higher degrees of difficulty. In a few years, he believes he will be right there with them. Kober said the middle part of his run hurt him as he picked up too much speed after his weight shifted to his heels.
“On your heels it’s a lot harder to control your speed,” said Kober, who feels more confident since he was able to recover on his run.
AFC didn’t have any members competing as coach Kenni Kuroda said his athletes aren’t there yet, however, Brayden Kuroda, Kyle Parker, Kassidy Todd and Anna Spence were forerunners.
“I thought they did surprisingly well for the deepness of the moguls,” said Kuroda. “These NorAm skiers are very aggressive. They make huge moguls. Everything was just a little bigger.”
The event features athletes from Japan, Australia, all over the United States and Canada.