It’s not often reported that a football slotback is a powerhouse on the ski slopes, but St. Michael’s College School’s ski captain, Will O’Brien, has proven to be an agile force on the giant slalom course.
The team’s captain finished second with a time of 84.09 in two runs, a mere .09 off the top spot which went to Nicholas Orr of Jean Vanier Catholic High School in Collingwood.
Coach Jamie Oatt, along with Enzo Carcasole, were with the team at Blue Mountain from Feb. 26 to 28. Oatt recalled that second of two runs with O’Brien, who will be graduating at the end of the year, and the conversation the two had before he went out the gate.
“He was in third place, and I said, basically if he had a good run, they would win the gold medal,” Oatt said. “All he had to do for his team was to have a good run.
“We talked about what a great way it would be to finish his career, to lay down the run of his life. He certainly did that.”
O’Brien finished his first run with a time of 41.71 and then improved on his third-place standing with a second run of 42.38.
Also medalling in the individual category of boys’ slalom was Liam Abbot. He put down times of 46.49 and 47.77 to hold on to third place with a 94.26 finish.
Both O’Brien and Abbot helped contribute to a gold medal finish for St. Mike’s marking the second year in a row when they’ve clinched the banner.
The team had all five of their racers in the top 17. The land of powder blue and navy has plenty of depth as Oatt said they had nine names that could have represented the Bathurst Street school.
That’s a promising dilemma to have as Abbot will be returning next season to have another shot for OFSAA gold.
“We’ve had consecutive years where we’ve accumulated three provincial medals. We’ve had some strong individual performances,” Carcasole said. “We should be competitive in alpine skiing for the next two to three years.”
St. Michael’s AAA Basketball team, the Blue Raiders, also won gold in North Bay, March 8, downing St. Benedict Saints 71-70 in a hotly contested match.
Leading the way for the second-straight podium finish (they won bronze in 2016) was 6-foot-8 powerhouse Danilo Djuricic with his troupe of Jahmal Abbey-Wright, Kobey Ketavong, Matthew Zmija, Chimelie Chibututu, Sam Rautins and Isaac Atta.