Exceptional was the word Apex Freestyle Club (AFC) coach Kenni Kuroda used often to describe performances by his freestyle skiers over the weekend.
AFC members reached the podium and put on personal best performances in B.C. Freestyle’s opening Timber Tour event at Apex Mountain Resort.
“I thought everyone on my team skied fantastic,” said AFC coach Kenni Kuroda. “The ones that didn’t finish on the podium, they have to get a big slap on the back because they all skied very well.”
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The weekend kicked off with slopestyle on Jan. 20. Ainsley MacDonald won gold in F14, while Alex Henderson took second in M14. Ethan Phillips was seventh in M16 and Jordan MacDonald was ninth in F14. In dual moguls on Sunday, Henderson won gold, Jordan MacDonald picked up a bronze medal, Phillips earned silver and Drew Waddle was third. Alumni Brayden Kuroda won gold, Madison Parker also won gold, while Kassidy Todd earned silver and Chloe Kober was fourth. Cole Patton of AFC finished sixth, which Kuroda said was a great result for him.
“He has been on the team for four years and that is the highest he has ever come,” said Kuroda. “A big congrats to him.”
Kuroda said the skiers’ strong performance at the recent Canada Cup series gave them a confidence boost, which showed.
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With Henderson reaching the podium in all three of his events, Kuroda praised the Penticton product.
“It’s getting to be fewer and fewer skiers that are doing all the events,” he said. “Alex is one of them. He’s still doing exceptional in slopestyle and moguls. This is great to see. This is the way I like to bring the kids up through our program. To dedicate yourself to one event at an early age I think is a mistake. You lose a lot of ski skills.”
Henderson said the moguls, held on Jan. 21, went well for him and he was really happy with his run. He accomplished what he wanted to by reaching the podium. When it came to slopestyle, Henderson does it for fun and wasn’t expecting to get on the podium.
His goal for the season is simple.
“Just have a lot of fun and ski well,” he said.
Kuroda said that Ainsley MacDonald is also doing great stuff winning gold in slopestyle and moguls. What stood out to Kuroda about the skiers is they composed themselves well, especially when competing against Team B.C. members. One of those was Phillips.
“He skied as hard as the B.C. team guys,” said Kuroda. “He skied fast. He skied in control. It was really nice to see that he did well.”
In Super Youth, Kuroda was happy to see Ethan Morf win gold, while Alexander Wargniez earned silver in M10. Charlotte Wargniez came over from the alpine team to compete in the event and Kuroda said her seventh place finish was good.
The Apex Timber Tour attracted more than 175 athletes. Kuroda said the super youth coaches, led by Jon Hodal, inspire the kids to show well.