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Barkerville becomes BC Winter Games skiing venue this weekend

Here's the list of all the Prince George athletes, coaches and officials who will gather in Quesnel for the Games this weekend

The lack of snow in the province this winter has caused headaches for organizers of this weekend’s Lhatko Quesnel BC Winter Games and forced cancellation of alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

Out of all that uncertainty and worry about outdoor venues being ready for the games, somebody came up with a brilliant contingency plan that promises to be one of the highlights of the weekend.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. the streets of Barkerville will be turned into a mini race course for that will combine the biathletes and cross-country skiers in a combined sprint event.

“The race we’re all excited about, biathlon and cross-country, is the sprint races in Barkerville, ” said Tuppy Hoehn, Zone 8 cross-country skiing head coach. “We’ll be racing right through the historic town right down the main street. It will be very cool.”

Snow has been trucked to the townsite and spread over the roads to create a skate ski track.

“It’s a super-fast (400 metre) sprint loop and it will be really fun,” said Hoehn. “Normally they would do three (cross-country) events and have a relay but with the lack of snow we can’t.”

Hallis Lake Ski Centre will host biathlon events on Thursday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and from noon-2 p.m. on Friday. The Hallis Lake trails will also be used for the cross-country free technique distance race on Friday from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Along with head coach Hoehn, Prince George will also be represented on Zone 8 Cariboo-North East in cross-country skiing by athletes Lillianna Botten, Anna Callaway, Natalie Hoehn, Scott Moore and Oscar Nelson and assistant coach Graeme Moore. Ian Hartley, Aaron Sinclair and Stacey Sinclair will serve as officials.

The Prince George contingent on the biathlon team includes: Skye Cadell, Luke Hillhouse and Sullivan Nelson, as well as head coach Ali Cadell and assistant coach David Nelson.

Sports fans in Prince George will have the opportunity to watch one of the Games events in the city. The Olympic-sized rink at Kin 1 will be the venue for short track speed skating. Racing happens there Friday and Saturday from 1:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The races will involve Prince George athletes Eli Bernard, Megan Vansickle and Emily Walsh, while Taryn Vansickle is the Zone 8 head coach.

Thirteen events will be contested this weekend at the Games. Quesnel was picked to host the event in 2022 but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Prince George athletes/coaches/officials BC Games-bound

Following is a list of the other Prince George athletes and coaches slated to compete at the BC Winter Games this weekend in Lhatko Quesnel:

Archery – Carys Bick, Logan Elias, Hunter Hampton, Seth Johnson, Jacob Nelson, Olivia Nelson, Maren Perry, Ezra Peters, Kayla Wiebe, Michael Wiebe (head coach) Erin Wiebe (official).

Artistic gymnastics – Kathryn Bauman, Nolan Hawkes, Brianna Perry, Kairi Reiffarth, Owen Schwab, Khloe Spencer, Storm Pavich (head coach).

Badminton – Jason Foot, Princess Viegas, Nathan Warkentin, Luke Spooner (assistant coach), Emily Li (head coach).

Curling – Lexi Shymanski, Graeme Burke, Liam O’Bryan, Henry Prenger, Chris Moir (head coach, male team), Wendee Copeland (head coach, female team) Vonda Hofferd (official).

Figure skating – Sophia Mohring, Lucas Eberle, Violet Freeman-Idemilih, Jennifer Auston (assistant coach).

Judo – Lucas Austman, Olivia Beckett, Luke Bergeron, Landen Cartwright, Layne Clark, Jaycie Dyck, Jesse Castor-Hedstrom, Preston Holt, Sylvie Schimann, Yannick Schimann, Riley Thompson, Ayla Windley, Abigail Yin, Aline Strasdin (head coach), Jesse Priseman (assistant coach), Grayson Holliday (assistant coach), Matthew Beckett (official), Brian Deevy (official).

Karate – Seiji Cronje, Cillian Hollybow, Mateo Fajardo (assistant coach).

Ringette - Kylie Bespoyasny, Natalie Bond, Kalyee Cherniawsky, Mischa Krawszyk, Jana Liston, Hannah Neukomm, Sadie Robin, Eva Scheck, Taylor Stolz, Alexa Talbot, Stacy Furlong (head coach), Brent Scheck (assistant coach), Michelle Bespoyasny (assistant coach), Chris Bjorn (official), Jana Campbell (assistant coach), Loren Erickson (official).

Wheelchair basketball – Shelby Borschawa, Colton Carrita, Malcolm Hunter, Bronwyn Le Gresley, Robert Stiles (head coach), Chantel Stiles (assistant coach), Matthew Le Gresley (official), Brandy Stiles (adult supervisor).