Mount Washington: Air, slopestyle and hitting the rails

Parksville snowboarder among the best in recent Mount Washington competition

Parksville’s Jacqueline Monette-Warren excelled at a recent snowboard event.

Parksville’s Jacqueline Monette-Warren excelled at a recent snowboard event.

BRENDA GOUGH

NEWS Contributor

Mount Washington hosted a Spring Rail Jam March 30 and Parksville’s Jacqueline Monette-Warren got to show off her jibbing skills on a coarse that was jam packed with features.

The local snowboarder is in the competitive program with the Vancouver Island Riders and has spent a good part of the winter being coached by the pros in the disciplines of slopestyle, big air and rails.

This past weekend she and her VI Riders teammates put on a great show and demonstrated what they have been learning all season.

The spring park was sculpted right in front of the alpine lodge so spectators could see all of the action including the bag of tricks that generated Monette-Warren the title of “Best Girl Run Overall” at the competition Saturday.

Monette-Warren has been a member of the freestyle snowboard training club for two years now and when the grade 10 Ballenas student isn’t working towards her school credits, she is on the slopes hitting jumps and perfecting her tricks.

For those not familiar with slopestyle, it is all about creativity.  An athlete jumps down a run where there is a combination of jumps and rail features they slide across.

Back on March 16 at the Dakine Slopestyle competition at Mount Washington Monette-Warren won first place in the 14 to 17 age category.

Linden Ruecker one of the VI Riders coaches who works with Monette-Warren said he is not surprised the young athlete made it to the podium.

“She is doing really well.  We have always seen high determination in her. Her skills have really improved … especially in the last year.”

He said making it to the podium at the different provincial slopestyle competitions isn’t easy because she has to compete against women twice her age.

“It is substantially difficult for young girls.  Frequently she competes against women 10 to 15 years older than her,” Rueker explained.

He pointed to an event at Sun Peaks this season where she got second as an example of what her competition consists of.

“She competed against fully sponsored 30 year olds from Japan. She was the youngest competitor in that competition.”

Monett-Warren is thrilled to be sponsored by Alternative Groove in Nanaimo and she said once the season winds down she may take up skateboarding to help with her cross training because her goal is to win medals at the highest level of competition.

“I would like to compete world-wide and possibly in the Olympics or X Games,” she admitted.

Her coach said as long as she pushes herself he can see that in her future.

“I think with Jacqui her determination is pushing her.  With her progression one day she will be in the X Games or the Olympics if that is her direction.”

There is another rail jam competition at Mount Washington on April 6 and once again spectators will get to see Monett-Warren throw down some of her best tricks.

“I like the rails. I will pull out all my tricks for sure … my coach doesn’t like to me play it safe and I do better in competitions when I push myself.”

For those who still have lift passes to use up, April 14 is when full winter operations at Mount Washington wind down.

Your last chance to make some turns in the snow will be on April 20 and 21 for an extended weekend only operation.

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