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Lightning shuts down OFSAA Alpine competition early

Provincial races at Osler Bluff cut short with announcement to 'seek shelter' during storm

It’s rare for skiers to seek shelter due to lightning, but it happened Tuesday halfway through the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) Alpine races in the Blue Mountains.

Osler Bluff Ski Club hosted the provincial high school alpine skiing championships Monday and Tuesday.

Sunny skies greeted student athletes for the giant slalom event Monday.

Tuesday was another story.

Lightning was spotted over Georgian Bay in a lead grey sky.

“Seek shelter,” was announced and repeated by race officials across the club at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Lightning continued through light rain, followed by hail, heavy winds and heavy rain. Organizers ended the competition and used first run times for results.

“Both race days were met with wild weather and changing snow conditions,” said Colin Scott, alpine ski coach for Collingwood Collegiate Institute.

“The Owls persevered and proved that they deserved to compete at the provincial level,” said Scott.

Awards were held indoors shortly after 2 p.m. with medals to the top three finishers and ribbons for fourth to eighth place. There were two divisions, one for athletes who haven’t raced with ski clubs (high school) and those who have raced with clubs (open).

Collingwood Collegiate Institute athletes brought home seven medals: two gold, two silver and three bronze.

Both gold medals came from the boys’ open-level team in slalom and giant slalom. The team includes Finn Green, Ian McKeller, Ryne Henry, Evan Chisolm and Wesley MacMillian. They also won two 2024 Boys OFSAA Alpine Champions banners.

Green also won a bronze medal in giant slalom.

The girls won four medals. Rachael MacMillian won both a silver and a bronze medal for her events. 

The girls’ open-level team skied for a silver in slalom and a bronze in giant slalom. The team includes Rachael MacMillian, Genny Rossbaum, Avy King, Olivia Behan-Foy and Fallon Murphy.

Our Lady of the Bay (OLB) won five medals: three gold, one silver and a bronze.

Hayden Copp won a gold medal in the boys’ open individual slalom. The girls’ open GS team won gold and the boys’ high school team won gold in the giant slalom.

Andrew Dorchuk won silver in the boys’ (high school) individual giant slalom and a bronze in the slalom.

OLB athletes achieved three fourth-place finishes with the the girls’ open slalom team, the boys open GS team and with Grace Grant in the girls’ open individual GS (L2).

Barrie’s Eastview Secondary School won a bronze medal in the girls’ (high school) team GS.

OFSAA snowboard races got underway at Devil's Glen on Wednesday morning. 

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Gisele Winton Sarvis

About the Author: Gisele Winton Sarvis

Gisele Winton Sarvis is an award winning journalist and photographer who has focused on telling the stories of the people of Simcoe County for more than 25 years
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