Standout season for Apex Ski Club garners team top honours

Winning the K1 (11 to 12-year-olds) and K2 (13 to 15-year-olds) helped Apex Ski Club earn the nod as the top club in the Okanagan Zone at Big White last weekend.

Reece Howden of Chilliwack enjoyed a strong season with the Apex Ski Club and will be among four members participating in the Whistler Cup this weekend.

Reece Howden of Chilliwack enjoyed a strong season with the Apex Ski Club and will be among four members participating in the Whistler Cup this weekend.

Winning the K1 (11 to 12-year-olds) and K2 (13 to 15-year-olds) helped Apex Ski Club earn the nod as the top club in the Okanagan Zone at Big White last weekend.

The accomplishment, coach Jorgen Anderson said, is “a really big deal.”

E2 skiers also had a strong showing such as Jesse Howden, first in mens and Grace Grant, bronze, while Molly Wells had a solid run.

“It’s a big deal for them because they worked hard,” said Anderson, on his way to Whistler for the Whistler Cup.

Under the guidance of Anderson, who has been nominated for Kindred Coach of the Year in the Okanagan Zone, and Sarah Culver, the team accumulated the highest average World Cup points based on every member of the racing team.  Standouts this year include Meg Cumming, who is on the K2 B.C. Team and recently finished 29th overall and fourth in her age group at the Canadian Championships in Ontario, and Reece Howden who placed third overall in K1 provincials. Howden will be a member of Team Canada at Whistler Cup, which skiers qualify for through provincial competition and has become the largest and most important ski race in North America and internationally for athletes aged 11 to 14-years-old. Joining Howden will be Cumming, Belle Grant and Elsa Knutson. It’s the first time in years Apex has had that many members participating.

When talking about Howden’s abilities, Anderson capped it by saying he’s amazing.

“He performed beyond my expectations,” said Anderson of the Chilliwack resident. “He is so consistent.”

Anderson also has high praise for Cumming, who will go to the Whistler Cup but won’t ski because of a concussion.

“She’s a little tiger,” said Anderson. “She will be going to high performance camps this summer.”

Cumming said qualifying for the Whistler Cup is a special accomplishment and was a goal entering the season.

The 13-year-old felt good about her season because she saw improvement, especially keeping pace with competitors she couldn’t catch before. The highlight to Cumming’s season was competing at the Canadian Championships, where she loved the atmosphere of being with other girls in the house they stayed in.

Cumming is also proud the club was able to win the Okanagan Zone.

“Because we are a smaller club that’s good,” she said.

Cumming credits team success to the work that Anderson put in with them. Helping the skiers become more fit and stronger paid dividends. The recognition hasn’t stopped there for Apex though. It is anticipated they will win the B.C. Alpine “Club Growth of the Year” for the 2011 season as it grew from 55 to 60 athletes to over 100.