Sports

Two medals for Layne Anvelt in Whistler

Errington’s Layne Anvelt carved out silver and bronze on one of the steepest courses on the World Cup circuit. - Submitted
Errington’s Layne Anvelt carved out silver and bronze on one of the steepest courses on the World Cup circuit.
— image credit: Submitted

From the slopes comes word that young Layne Anvelt was up to his old tricks at Whistler recently, carving out a silver medal in Dual Moguls and a bronze in Single Moguls at the 2011 BC Freestyle Ski Championships.

Whistler Blackcomb was the final stop on the annual high-performance three-race series.

The BC Freestyle Ski Series is a showcase for some 150 of the top young skiers in the province, aged 12-19. They compete in moguls, slope-style, and half-pipe. There were about 87 that did the mogul part of the series.

The series, which featured eight clubs including a team from the Yukon, started in January at Apex in Penticton and moved to Silverstar in Vernon for Race #2 in mid-February.

Layne and his family are from Errington. He started skiing at 18 months and has been skiing competitively with the Mt. Washington Ski Club for about eight years.

Layne took his game to another level this winter when he signed on to be part of the new Podium of Life school up at Mt. Washington, where he spent the winter living, training and attending classes. Think of it as Snow U.

This is the first year of the school which has about eight students. They’ve had enquiries from Eastern Canada and overseas about next year. Layne was back down to Earth on Monday and will finish off his school year at Oceanside Middle.

According to Gina Stubbs, co-president of the Mt. Washington Freestyle Club, Layne practices every Saturday and Sunday with the club, and during the week he’s part of the first graduating class of students at POL that do their schoolwork in the morning then train for about three hours every afternoon four days a week.

The Mt. Washington Freestyle Ski Club was formed about nine years ago to promote freestyle skiing at Mt. Washington “and provide young skiers an opportunity to hone their skills, to develop new skills, and the opportunity to then go out and compete against other skiers their age and ability from other clubs from other mountains.”

Layne, said Stubbs, is a prime example of hard work paying off.

“For sure. He’s worked very hard developing his skill base this year — his medals (at Whistler) were drawn out of a field of about 25 athletes ... he did an excellent, excellent job.”

His run in single moguls raised the eyes of the national team coach. Layne was the fastest skier down that course. The course — world-famous Davy’s Dervish just above Glacier Lodge on Blackcomb — is considered one of the most difficult anywhere on the world cup circuit.

“It’s touted as the second steepest in the world,” Stubbs said of the run, which throws you down a 30 degree pitch.

“I slide down the side,” she chucked when asked if she’s ever skied it. “It’s very steep, and very challenging.”

Layne has been skiing competitively for years, but these were still pretty remarkable results given that he moved up in age category this year to the Boys M4 (13-14 year olds) and as such is one of the younger ones in his group.

The dual slalom event for Layne and his counterparts is about 200 meters with two jumps.

The average times are between 36-38 seconds.

“He’s determined,” Stubbs said when asked what Layne brings to the hills, adding, “he trains well most of the time ... like most 13 years old he’s focused sometimes, but not all the time ... but he’s determined to do well, and having the skill set he has certainly helps.”

The B.C. series is a sanctioned Canadian Freestyle Ski Association event and part of a nation-wide initiative. Kids 15 and older have the opportunity to be selected to go to junior nationals.

“We haven’t sat down and counted medals yet but the club fared very well we had athletes in the top 10 in all age categories,” Stubbs said.

“It’s been great. A lot of fun,” Layne confirmed last week from the phone in his dorm up in them there hills this week.

“I get to ski every day; I’m getting ahead on my school work and it gives me lots of extra time to train so I can improve.”

Layne finished eighth in Race #1 of the series and crashed in Race #2, so to cap off the series with a double podium appearance felt extra good, he conceded.

“It was fun getting on the podium,” he said and you could hear him smiling through the phone.

“I was really proud of my result and happy with how much I’ve improved since the start of the season.

“It’s really steep,” he confirmed when asked for a first person point of view on the run down Davy’s Dervish, “and because it’s so steep the moguls are really tight. It’s crazy.”

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