SPORTS March 31st, 2017

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Lawrence Park CI hits alpine paydirt

Kasha Mansour earns gold in giant slalom

It’s another golden year for Lawrence Park Collegiate on the ski slopes.

All teams and individual skiers podiumed in late February, earning one gold, two silvers and an additional bronze at Blue Mountain.

But the provincial meet was not without new challenges.

OFSAA enacted new rules that only allowed teams to suit up two teams and two individual racers to compete. That meant the 17 students who represented the Panthers in 2016 shrank down to 11 this year. That didn’t impact the interest though, as the Panthers were 45 strong.

Standing in a classroom inside the Chatsworth Drive school were teacher-coach Irma Sefa and Kasha Mansour, who claimed gold in the slalom. Her teammate, Alex Butt, grabbed a silver in boys slalom. The open girls Level 2 team earned silver, and the boys Level 1 troupe rounded out the medals with a bronze in slalom.

Mansour, 17, was a member of the Level 2 girls team that won two silvers last year. They did so on icy surfaces, and it was no different this year.

“One of the boys (Ben Evans) said, ‘I brought the wrong skis’. And I said, ‘What do you mean, did you bring another pair’,” Sefa recalled. “He said, ‘No, I should have brought skates’ because it was so icy.”

Mansour admitted she had no gameplan heading into her two runs. On the first, she came in at 48.75 seconds, placing her in second behind Jayden Metcalfe of Collingwood. Her second run was 50.44 seconds.

“Honestly, I don’t really remember,” she said of what she was thinking. “I just wanted to make it down the hill.”

Retired Lawrence Park teachers Alex Ivan and Peter Gilbert are still as dedicated as ever, helping the teams. The school has a long-standing tradition of skiing.

Also on the slopes in the Blue and Gold were the aforementioned Butt, Evans as well as Joseph Bartkiw, Ethan Kamps and Nicholas Trail for the boys, and Hunter Rynda, Kasha’s sister Alexa Mansour, Lauren Hogg and Aurora Rynda.

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