Following a weekend of racing at the Whistler Cup, Cranbrook ski racer Jamie Casselman was honoured with the Dave Murray award for the top performance by a Canadian Male.
Casselman, with top-five finishes in disciplines of slalom, giant slalom and super G, was at the B.C. resort to test his abilities against a host of international competitors.
It’s been quite the season for the 15-year-old racer, who has been competing at races both at home and internationally in Europe.
“It’s been by far, my most exciting ski racing season in terms of experiences and results,” said Casselman. “I experienced training and racing in Italy and Switzerland and I won the Western Can-Ams. At the Whistler Cup, I was the top U16 Canadian athlete, achieving silver in slalom, bronze in Super G and fourth in giant slalom.”
Over three days, Casselman hit the podium twice with a 2nd place finish in slalom and a third place in Super G. He finished in fourth place in the giant slalom, falling short of a bronze medal by only 0.19th of a second.
Despite warm weather that wreaked havoc on the track, race organizers and volunteers were able to keep the event going.
Starting things off with the Super G on the first day, Casselman had a bit of an interesting race, finishing with his first medal—a bronze with a time of 1:13.46.
“My run was good but a bit of a wild ride,” said Casselman. “I broke my pole early in the course so it was difficult to balance. I nailed a gate and it hurt quite a bit but I managed to recover.”
On the second day, Casselman struck silver, hitting the podium for the second straight day in slalom, making two runs with a combined time of 1:37.26.
“The second run was a bit slower than the first run but I put together two solid runs today,” said Casselman. “I held on for a rough second run as the conditions started deteriorating.”
On the final day of the competition, Casselman competed in giant slalom, where he just barely missed out on hitting the podium with a combined time of 1:46.19 over two runs.
“My first run was definitely much better than the second,” said Casselman. “The conditions deteriorated the track and my second run was definitely a wild ride! It’s been a great weekend of competition and I’m really happy with how everything went.”
Casselman was part of the Canadian team that fielded nine boys and nine girls from all across the country. He started his skiing and racing fundamentals with Kimberly Alpine Team at the age of 5, and now trains out of Panorama Ski Club up in Invermere – soon transitioning into summer dryland training with another local coach.
A student of Mount Baker Secondary School, Casselman has worked out a program of online learning and support from his classroom teachers that allows him to stay on top of his schoolwork and spend five days a week at the ski hill to train during peak racing season.