Hometown nationals champ

Kelowna athlete Tess Critchlow topped the podium at the Speed Nation Snowboard Cross Nationals at Big White's Telus Park on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old was in third around the first and second corner of the track, before pulling ahead for the win.

“There was a bit of a malfunction with the gate handle at the start, so I had a lot of ground to make up,” Critchlow says.

Livia Molodyh of the U.S. finished second, and Josie Baff of Australia came in third.

“We’ve watched Tess grow up from when she attended elementary school," says Big White V-P Michael J. Ballingall. "What an honour it is to have her in the resort winning the national championships in front of her parents and friends." 

Critchlow stepped back from racing to focus on her mental game, and says she’s excited to jump back into training this summer and get ready for a full season of racing in 2019-20. She has her sights set on the 2022 Winter Games in China.

Critchlow has been racing since the age of six and at 14 was picked up by the B.C. provincial team. Four years later, after claiming the North American title and winning back to back junior national championships, she was named to the Canadian national team.

Last year, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, in Pyeong Chang, South Korea, she placed ninth overall in women's snowboard cross.

Speed Nation events continue this week at Big White, with the under 15 snowboard cross event happening Saturday.

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