Freestyle skiers shine at B.C. Winter Games

Local athletes help Thompson-Okanagan region haul in 68 medals

KEREMEOS’S KASSIDY TODD returned from the B.C. Winter Games in Mission with silver medals in moguls and slopestyle competition. Todd represented the Apex Freestyle Club

KEREMEOS’S KASSIDY TODD returned from the B.C. Winter Games in Mission with silver medals in moguls and slopestyle competition. Todd represented the Apex Freestyle Club

Freestyle skiers helped the Thompson-Okanagan collect 68 medals, good for third in the medal count in the B.C. Winter Games held in Mission last weekend.

Most of the medals from the South Okanagan came from Apex Freestyle Club skiers. Mackenzie Schwinghamer of West Kelowna scored 19.22 to earn gold in moguls, while Keremeos’ Kassidy Todd picked up silver in the F3 female category. In F4, Penticton’s Anna Spence and Port Moody’s Madison Parker placed second and third, respectively. In M3, Penticton’s Koleton Phipps won gold, as did Brayden Kuroda in M4.

In slope style, Todd picked up another silver medal, while Shaina Finlayson took bronze in F3. Parker missed the podium in M4 by 2.3 points. In M3, Matt Finlayson won gold.

AFC coach Kenni Kuroda said the results for his athletes were fantastic.

“We took six out of the 12 mogul medals,” said Kuroda. “We got three park medals. For our little mountain that’s great.”

Kuroda said the competition at the Winter Games is on a smaller scale compared to the Timber Tour because, “they are taking the best from each zone.”

Kassidy Todd said coming back with two medals was awesome. She said while the course isn’t what they are used to, things worked out for her.

“I was pretty confident,” said Todd. “It was a really fast course. The jumps were good for me.”

With her focus being on performing well in moguls, taking silver in slope style was a bonus.

“It was a really snowy day, the speed was very slow,” she said of the slope style event. “It was hard for us girls to go fast enough. I made the landing. That was really what it was based on.”

Todd, who competed in her second winter games and has also been to the summer games as a triathlete, said it was really fun.

“This one I think was better than both of them,” she said. “It was just a lot more fun.”

Brayden Kuroda enjoyed his B.C. Games debut. While the Penticton product was hoping for a medal, he just focused on his run and having fun.

“I was just trying to lay down the best run I could,” said Kuroda, who scored 18.69.

AFC had athletes in the Thompson Okanagan zone 2 and Vancouver-Squamish zone 5.

In karate, Summerland’s Mickayla Becker earned silver in the kumite girls intermediate 44-kilogram weight class and picked up a bronze along with Simonka Slizek in the girls kata. On the boys side, Declan Riddle and Takeshi Smith earned bronze in the team kata.

In alpine skiing, Oliver’s Agatka Koczij finished 34th in giant slalom clocking in at 51.27 seconds and was 23rd in slalom finishing in 1:25:10. Naramata’s Kaylie Davies finished 36th in giant slalom clocking in at 52.74 seconds and was 19th in slalom. She crossed the finish line in 1:21.84. Chase Davies, also of Naramata, didn’t finish the slalom male event.

In cross-country skiing, Summerland’s Rachel Shanner was ninth in the individual sprint juvenile girls. Shanner clocked in at 1:14.80.

In Special Olympics basketball, Tim Lord and Greg Ovenden helped the Thompson-Okanagan Zone place fifth. The Zone 2 basketball team opened with a 52-13 win over North West Zone 7. That was followed up with a 37-17 loss to Vancouver-Squamish Zone 5 and a 33-30 loss to Van Island-Central Coast Zone 6 and a 39-8 loss against Fraser Valley Zone 3. The Thompson-Okanagan team defeated North West 26-14 to take fifth.