Lawrence Park Collegiate spearheaded a strong Toronto showing at the recent Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) alpine skiing provincial championships, earning four individual medals (two gold, two bronze) and five team medals (one gold, two silver and two bronze).
The OFSAA alpine event features slalom and giant slalom events at two levels (school-trained level one, and the more elite club-trained level two) for both male and female.
Basically, Lawrence Park accomplished the impressive feat of qualifying three of its four teams (level one boys, level one girls and level two boys). And then, even more impressively, it followed up with all three of the teams bringing home OFSAA medals - in fact two of the teams were double medalists.
* The level one girls earned gold in slalom and bronze in giant slalom. Team members are Katie McDonald, Zoe Radden, Maddy MacDonald, Emma Brown and Jackie Pivovarov.
* The level two boys earned double-silver in both events. Team members are Blake Pridham, Alex Jackson, Andrew Shafto, Alex Wijnbergen, and Simon Ashby.
* The level one boys earned bronze in giant slalom (and were seventh in slalom). Team members are Gren Austin, Kevin deHaan, Corey Gorsky, Liam Benstead and Mike Kutti.
To put this in perspective, only one other Toronto school managed to bring back an OFSAA medal, and that was St. Michael's, also from the midtown area, with a silver medal in level one boys giant slalom.
Individually, the highlight was Lawrence Park's Rachel Rennick, a former provincial team member, who won gold in both level two slalom and giant slalom.
Lawrence Park's other medal winners, both with bronze, were:
* Alex Wijnbergen, level two boys, in giant slalom (he was fifth in slalom);
* and Zoe Radden, level one girls, in slalom (she was 8th in giant slalom).
By contrast, there was only one other individual medal winner from Toronto. Alex DeMarchi, of the above noted St. Michael's team, earned a silver medal in giant slalom.
"We had a great OFSAA," agreed Peter Gilbert who coaches the Lawrence Park team with Alex Ivan, adding it was by far the school's best haul since he started coaching the team early on in the decade.
The program is so strong, he said, because "a very high percentage of the school population skis, and then the other aspect of it is, is that a lot of those kids, not only do they ski but they race."
Combined with that, he said, "we've created a climate where the kids are very happy to join the team."
Here's a list of all OFSAA top-10 finishes from Toronto.
Boys giant slalom: 2, Alex DeMarchi, St. Michael's; 7, Keegan McCallum, Richview; 8, Jeremy Antonyshyn, St. Michael's
Boys slalom: 7, Kevin deHaan, Lawrence Park; 9, Ted Zalucky, Bishop Allen Academy
Girls giant slalom: 5, Annie Burt, St. Clement's; 6, Caitlyn Leavitt, Etobicoke Collegiate; 7, Katie MacDonald, Lawrence Park; 8, Zoe Radden, Lawrence Park
Girls slalom: 3, Zoe Radden. Lawrence Park; 9, Katie MacDonald, Lawrence Park; 11, Jenny Kern, Northern
Boys slalom: 3, Alex Wijnbergen, Lawrence Park; 7, Andrew Shafto, Lawrence Park.
Boys giant slalom: 5, Alex Wijnbergen, Lawrence Park; 6. Andrew Shafto, Lawrence Park; 8, Ben Shilletto, North Toronto.
Girls slalom: 1, Rachel Rennick, Lawrence Park;
Girls giant slalom: 1, Rachel Rennick, Lawrence Park