Tess Critchlow found the home course very much to her liking at the Sport Chek Canadian Snowboard Cross Championships.
The 17-year-old from Kelowna made two trips to the podium last weekend during the nationals at Big White.
Critchlow raced to the gold medal to claim the Canadian junior women’s snowboard cross title on Saturday.
Critchlow also proved competitive in the senior women’s category on Sunday, finishing second only to world and Olympic champion Maëlle Ricker from Squamish.
The familiar surroundings at Big White and Telus Park proved a successful formula for Critchlow.
“I’ve been here for a long time,” said Critchlow. “It’s my 12th season riding here. I won (Saturday’s) junior nationals. It was really fun. Out of all of the Canadian juniors riders, I managed to squeeze out on top.”
The third time was a charm for Thomas Pitman from Trail who ended up finishing his junior-age eligibility with another win in the junior men’s. Pitman who relied on Chris Robanske’s board because he broke his own, showed that his technique was more important than the equipment and climbed to a third consecutive year on top of the junior podium.
Joining him on the podium was American, Joshua Cohen, followed by local rider Clinton Pederson from Kelowna winning the bronze medal on home soil.
Maëlle Ricker was the favourite going in to the senior women’s competition and didn’t disappoint. Riding with a comfortable lead all day, the current world and Olympic champion found her way to first place without any problem.
“The best parts of the nationals this past week was watching the Para World Cups and seeing the juniors battle it out on Friday,” said Ricker. “I was so impressed by the level of the younger riders and the knowledge they have already in making quick decisions in race situations. I’m really looking forward to next year.”
On the senior men’s front, the Americans swept the podium with Robert Minghini in first place and Chris Mahaney and Mike Dierdorff in second and third respectively. Chris Robanske from North Vanvouver was the best Canadian finishing just shy of the podium in fourth place.
The complete Sport Chek Canadian Snowboard Cross Championships results:
• Junior women
1st Tess Critchlow—Kelowna
2nd Zoe Bergermann—Acton, ON
3rd Shayna Goodwin—Surrey
• Junior men
1st Thomas Pitman—Trail
2nd Joshua Cohen—USA
3rd Clinton Pederson—Kelowna
• Senior women
1st Maëlle Ricker—Squamish
2nd Tess Critchlow—Kelowna
3rd Zoe Bergermann—Acton, ON
• Senior men
1st Robert Minghini—USA
2nd Chris Mahaney—USA
3rd Mick Dierdorff—USA