Sports

Northern’s Red Knights were queens of the hill

Girls snowboard team hits payola with four medals at OFSAA

PHOTO COURTESY KATIE SPIESS
WINNERS ON THE SLOPES: Mikayla Eagleson, left, Ashley Ghan, Rebecca Leuty and Katie Spiess show off their giant slalom medals in Collingwood. Northern’s girls snowboarding team won four medals at OFSAA on March 1.

In a friendly battle of girls versus boys, the former won on the slopes, as well as beat most of the competition at OFSAA.

Northern’s girls’ snowboard team pulled in four medals on the slopes in Collingwood, March 1, owning the Georgian Peaks Ski Club for the day.

Part of the winning team was Ashley Ghan and Katie Spiess who shared their excitement at the team winning gold, as well them both earning individual medals in the giant slalom. Ghan, Grade 10, won gold, while Spiess, Grade 12, claimed bronze.

“It feels pretty good to have someone beside you that you trained with all year,” Ghan said, in a mid-March phone interview.

“It’s kind of scary being up there on the podium,” Spiess added.

The podium sharing duo finished with total times of 72.96 and 78.3, respectively.

It’s their hard work paying off, as the team is completely student-run. Staff overseers Merilyn McKelvey and Michael Chapman take care of the administrative side of the team, with Chapman being the convenor of the TDSSAA. Team captains Matthew Crawford and Hunter Dejean acted as trainers to get their charges into shape during early morning dry-lands.

All that practice and comradery also brought the team together.

“It’s not just about snowboarding.” Spiess said. “It’s about a community, Ashley and I sat down and talked about training.”

Those ties that bind were also close as the team went up a day early and stayed at chalets. The Crawford family owned one where students could spend the evening.

“We went up the night before and we had people stay with us,” Ghan recalled. “That was a lot of fun, preparing for the next day, waxing our boards, sharpening our edges and getting ready together.”

Which leads to the friendly battle between boys and girls. Matthew Crawford’s sister, Mikayla, placed second in the Open Division Giant Slalom. She had won a gold at OFSAA in 2017. The other sibling rivalry was between Ashley and her brother Ethan.

Unfortunately for the boys, they missed gates, thus eliminating them from the podium. Top finishes for them were Lukas Myers finishing 22nd and Spencer Snow finishing 35th. Ethan Morrow finished eighth in the open division.

Other results for the teams included Dejean finishing 13th, Hannah Ng 16th, Rebecca Leuty 17th, and Mikayla Eagleson 22nd.

Seven girls and seven boys headed up to OFSAA, and even though the girls won the friendly competition the team had fun travelling to the location together, along with the ski team.

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