COMBERMERE – A Grade 11 Madawaska Valley District High School student is heading to provincials after securing first place at the Eastern Ontario downhill skiing championships last week.
Jake Yantha was born in Combermere, to parents John and Lynne Yantha. He is the only boy in the family, with two older sisters and one younger sister.
Yantha was only two years old when he began skiing the hills of Mount Pakenham and Mount Madawaska. It wasn’t until he was 12 years old that he fell in love with racing. A race was being hosted at Mount Madawaska, and the organizers had asked Yantha if he would test out the course.
“I tried it and I loved it,” he said.
He officially started racing when he was 13, under the guidance from coaches in the Petawawa area.
“I didn’t place well my first couple of years racing,” he admitted.
He started out racing in the Patterson category for two years, which is a lower-level individual race. Then he moved into the U14 category with the Upper Ottawa Valley ski team.
Yantha said in the past year, he has had a recent breakthrough.
Get your February 24, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.