Mogul skiers take flight

Apex Freestyle Club will have group among 90-plus top skiers competing in Canadian Selections camp

TOP MOGUL skiers will descend upon Apex Mountain Resort for the Canadian Selection Identification camp

Athletes will be looking to impress Canadian Freestyle Ski Association brass in the fifth annual Canadian Selections camp at Apex Mountain Resort Dec. 18 to 21.

Mogul skiers aged 13 to 23 from clubs, provincial teams and the national team will showcase their talent with the potential to represent Canada one day on the North American circuit, and at the World Cup and Olympics. This is the first competition for these mogul skiers who have been training on snow for more than a month. With two days of competition Dec. 20 and 21 at 9 a.m., each participant will have a minimum of four runs to impress coaches, evaluators and judges.

The Apex Freestyle Club, which trains at Apex Mountain, will be represented by Brayden Kuroda, Mason Barzilay, Hayden Pearce, Max Todd, Kassidy Todd, Shayna Finlayson, Koleton Phipps, Joe Durham, Anna Spence, Madison Parker, Kyle Parker, Mackenzie Schwinghamer, Noah Spence, Jordan Kober and Josh Kober.

“This is a deep field. It’s the best in Canada here,” said AFC coach Kenni Kuroda, adding that his athletes are gaining valuable experience by going in these events. “There are no big expectations on anyone placing in the top 10. It would be nice to see between 10 and 20 finishes. The girls, mind you, there are a couple that could sneak in there.”

AFC members competing with the development team this weekend are Cam Kapusty and Matt Finlayson in slope style as well as Kuroda, Durham, Todd, Phipps, Pearce, Max Todd and Shaina Finlayson.

Other events being held at Apex Mountain will be the first Timber Tour event Jan. 16 to 19, a qualifying event for the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the NorAm FIS Moguls and Dual moguls Jan. 21 to 25. That event will attract high calibre mogul competition one level below the World Cup with 80-plus athletes from four countries and representation by BC Athletes.

Spectators are welcome to go up to Apex Mountain to watch the two-day competition.

AFC begins a new season and welcomes slope style coach Jessica Warll to the fold. Warrl is a former Dew Tour and X Games competitor and was one of the first athletes to be named to the Canadian national slopestyle team.  Warll has already received rave reviews from AFC members training with her.

“I’ve had really good feedback and all the kids have been really good,” said Warll, who is excited to join AFC. “I just want the kids to do really well and have a good season.”

Warll will lean on her experience to help develop the skiers and said it’s really rewarding watching kids progress and learn new things.

“They are excited. I’m also excited when they learn something new,” she said.