Megan Kardoes had the race of her young life at Hemlock Valley on Jan. 17.
The Abbotsford skier flew down the mountain so fast she went from 35th seed to 14th place in a flash, and won a medal for the most improved skier at the BC Winter Games Test Event.
"I was very excited and very relieved," said Megan, a Grade 7 student at W.A. Fraser Middle School.
"I could feel it," she said of her run in the Giant Slalom. "I was very surprised, very happy."
Megan, 12, is one of six on the Hemlock Alpine Racing Team.
She started skiing at the age of six and soon after enrolled in a ski program at the local mountain.
"She wasn't taking any instruction from her parents at all," said her mom Shelley. "We put her in the [Nancy] Green program and she took to it immediately."
At 11, Megan went into the alpine racing program where she now competes in the U14 class against many elite racers.
Shelley admitted to having some anxious moments when her daughter races, but said she's a very athletic kid who's also focused and trains hard.
"It was icy and I was a little nervous for her," said Shelley. "My mouth just dropped to the ground. I was so excited for her [with the 14th place finish]. I was so very proud of her. She's been working very hard."
The fabulous finish was just one second out of 10th spot, which was Megan's goal, to finish in the Top 10.
"After the race, she had a smile right from ear to ear," said Shelley. "This is definitely the biggest finish she's had in the alpine racing program."
Next up for Megan and the rest of the Hemlock ski team is a competition at Cypress Mountain in North Vancouver March 3-4, and then the provincial championships at Silver-star in Vernon on March 29-31.
? Hemlock Valley Resort, located 45 minutes east of Mission, overlooks Harrison Lake and is celebrating its 43rd year as a ski resort. In 2014, Hemlock will be the venue for the BC Winter Games' alpine, freestyle and cross country ski events hosted by the City of Mission. For more information about the Hemlock Ski Club and its ski racing program, visit www.hemlockskiclub. com.