Kobasiuk Queen of Provincial U16 Slalom Slopes
Ted Clarke / Prince George Citizen
March 27, 2019 11:00 PM
Melinda Kobasiuk has shown a voracious appetite lately for going fast when the alpine ski racing clock starts ticking and she feasted on the slalom course at the Teck Under-16 provincial championships at Apex Mountain near Penticton.
The 15-year-old Prince George Ski Club veteran won the first day of slalom racing Saturday by 1.06 seconds and finished second overall in Sunday’s slalom event.
“The slalom was what I was really looking forward to because I’m not the best in GS – it felt really nice in (Saturday’s) slalom but it was really stressful,” said Kobasiuk.
“Going into the second run knowing I was in first, oh man that was a fun time. That was a surprise.”
Based on her results at Apex and at two other provincial-level competitions at Sun Peaks and in Kimberley, Kobasiuk has qualified for the Whistler Cup races, April 11-14. This will be the third year she will have competed in the international event.
Kobasiuk finished 53/100ths of a second behind Noa Rogers of Apex in Sunday’s slalom. Kobasiuk also raced the two giant slalom events that began the U-16 provincials and finished 14th on Thursday and 11th on Friday.
“She skied the way she has been all year, it’s not really a surprise,” said Prince George Ski Club coach Phil Soicher, who has coached Kobasiuk the past three seasons.
“She just performed when she had to. We tend to try to keep the focus away from results and keep the focus on skiing well.”
Now in her seventh year with the Prince George team, Kobasiuk said she feels stronger on her skis than ever and attributes that to her dryland training program at the Engage Sport North – Canadian Sport School. She attends morning classes at Duchess Park secondary school then goes to the sport school to train with other student athletes, and it’s making a difference.
“I’m feeling more confident with all the training I’m getting, I feel that does a lot.” she said.
Kobasiuk was named as an alternate as the fifth female member of the B.C. team for the Canada Winter Games last month in Red Deer but did not get to attend the event.
Erica McCallum of Prince George also raced at Apex. Her top finish was 37th out of 53 in Sunday’s slalom and she was 40th on Saturday. In the GS events she placed 47th and 48th.
“Every race is getting better for her, even though the results might not be showing it,” said Soicher. “The whole U-16 group has been working pretty hard the last couple years and it’s kind of nice to see everybody get results and things start to pay off.”
McCallum and Kobasiuk will compete at the Teck north zone finals at Smithers, April 5-7, with GS, dual slalom and ski cross events scheduled.
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