The Toyo Tires Canada Cup series, the national circuit for Canada’s top mogul skiers, is at Apex Mountain Resort Jan. 14 to 15.
A field of 76 athletes (45 male, 31 female) aged 15 to 19, will compete representing B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Included in the field will be a group from the Apex Freestyle Club and nine of its alumni.
“This is a big event. Everybody but the national team is here,” said AFC coach Kenni Kuroda. There is a lot of talent here this weekend.”
Patrick Breault, competitions co-ordinator for Freestyle Canada, said with this event opening the season, he expects a lot of energy from the skiers.
“People are excited to jump out and ready to go. The starting list is full of talent,” he said. “I expect a really high level of skiing.”
The AFC skiers, Kuroda said, are competing for the national experience.
“I don’t expect my guys to be even in the top half. If they finished in the top half that would be fantastic,” he said. “It’s a really deep field. This is a giant step up. That’s why I want them to compete in this.”
Representing AFC are Alec Henderson, Ethan Phillips, Jordan MacDonald and Ainsley MacDonald.
It’s a different story for AFC alumni Brayden Kuroda, Kassidy Todd, Shaina Finlayson, Chloe Kober, Madison Parker, Hayden Person, Koleton Phipps and Mackenzie Schwinghamer. Kuroda expects them to make the cut and place in the top half to top third of the field.
The training will be tough because of the cold weather conditions which are expected to warm up to about -6 C over Saturday and Sunday.
The skiers are competing for series ranking points and High Performance Program rankings. With the Canada Cup being a tour, a champion is declared at the end of the season.
“Those points are important for athletes to achieve national team spots or NorAm selection spots,” he said.
The qualification round on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. with finals at 2:30 to 3:05 p.m. On Sunday, qualification runs begin at 9 a.m. with the finals at 1 to 3 p.m. all on Kristi’s Run. Spectators are welcome.