The yo-yoing of winter weather made it a difficult task for Lawrence Park CI’s ski teams as they descended on Collingwood, Ont. for OFSAA’s alpine skiing finale at Blue Mountain.
Three teams of five, as well as two individual skiers, represented the Blue and Gold and captured four medals March 1, including Lachlan Carmichael’s gold in Level 1 Boys Giant Slalom.
The temperature was 10 degrees the day before, and by race time it had dipped to -2. That made for an icy adventure for many skiers performing the slalom in the morning.
But the medal cache was a testament to the team’s perseverance, said co-coach Alex Ivan, calling from a ski trip to Cornwall, Ont.
“The girls finished fourth in the slalom and the boys finished fifth, but their best two skiers fell,” he said. “To finish fifth, that means your next three skiers had to complete it, and had to do well enough to complete it.”
For Ivan, who retired from teaching in June along with colleague Peter Gilbert, it was a reward for an equally successful 2015, when both the Level 1 and Level 2 Girls squads won gold.
The two coaches didn’t want to leave their charges in the lurch for this year.
“Last year’s team was phenomenal,” Ivan said in a phone call from Cornwall, Ont. “We couldn’t let it go to the wayside because the same girls were coming back.
“They all did so well, they deserved another chance at OFSAA.”
The real gem was Carmichael’s gold medal, Ivan noted, as it was the first time the Grade 12 student had finished a race at the provincials.
“For two years, it was hard for him to finish a race,” Ivan said. “He was the one who would miss a gate, blowup or fall.”
The senior was modest about his gold medal, failing to mention his success after repeated attempts.
“It was incredible,” he said. “We had the whole team there at the bottom with all the parents.”
The girls teams — Level 1 (Victoria Hamilton, Emma Leet, Michelle Scully, Grace Reszetnik and Maddie Hubbard) and Level 2 (Kasha Mansour, Emily Cohen, Hunter Rynda, Aurora Rynda and Kendra Smith) — grabbed three silvers. The Level 2 won in both giant slalom and slalom, while Level 1 earned theirs in the GS.
The boys Level 1 team — featuring Carmichael, Daniel McPhedran, Ben Evans, Theo Evdoxiades and Alex Butt — grabbed a bronze, finishing just one point behind St. Michael’s College.
Also on the trip, representing Level 2 Boys on an individual scale, were Jamie Bruce and Harrison Wood.
Ivan will be back helping the team in 2017, but Gilbert, who is moving to Bracebridge, Ont. will be back in a limited capacity. Most of the team will be intact, as Carmichael and Evdoxiades are the only two students graduating.