Oak Bay High’s team of six scored high on the experience meter in provincial ski competition at Whistler.
Due to cost, logistics and prior commitments from the athletes, the Oak Bay High ski and snowboard team only sent the boys ski team to provincials.
“I do hope to take a bigger team next year because it was an amazing experience,” said coach Tina Horwood, noting the boys raced among one-day Olympic hopefuls.
The girls team and boys board team also qualified.
Tristan O’Brian “rallied hard” to earn that sixth spot on the team, according to Horwood. “He looks like a skier now going down the hill.”
“I did how I expected to do. I haven’t been racing long so I didn’t go to win,” said O’Brian, a Grade 12 student who started this season. “It was nerve wracking, but great to be there and meet new people. The highlight was the camaraderie with the team and not the competition.”
An avid skier, Adam Whittaker has been with the team since his Grade 9 year.
“I did pretty well,” the Grade 11 student said. “I was first in the seeding in the first race and 37th of 84 overall. I did better than I expected which is good.”
“I’ve been doing it since I was 12, going to Mount Washington every winter. I’ve just always loved the sport. So when I hit Grade 9 I thought I’d join.”
That was only the second year Oak Bay High had a team. This is the first the wintersports team sent a contingent to provincials.
“I was super proud of them. It’s pretty intense, it’s different than when we go every weekend to Mount Washington,” Horwood said. “You’ve got your fancy timers and fancy gates. They all worked hard and showed good sportsmanship on the hill.”
The high school’s ski and snowboard team were crowned Island Champions this season.
The girls’ and boys’ ski teams and the girls’ snowboard team all took first place in the final week’s race with the boys’ snowboard team second in a tight competition.