Logan Zenert pursues a national dream
Logan Zenert has stood at the top of the mountains and lived to tell the tale.
The local 15-year-old is just coming off his first year of competitive snowboard cross, having qualified for nationals alongside his 18-year-old brother, Jackson, who has competed professionally for three years already.
“This year I have competed in four International Ski Federation (FIS) events held at Big White in British Columbia, including nationals,” said Zenert. “As this is my first year of serious snowboarding, I am learning the ropes, and making it to Canadian Nationals was my goal, which I did.”
Zenert added snowboard cross skiers, or competitive snowboarders, earn FIS points which qualifies them for more advanced competitions.
“It’s a pretty complex scoring system,” said Zenert. “If a boarder earns 15 points in one event, then seven in the next, you start at 15. In some cases they will average out your scores. Once you qualify for the nationals, the events are purely timed and half of the skiers move on.”
The Innisfail Jr/Sr High School Grade 10 student has been snowboarding for three years after he and Jackson stumbled upon an open race at Sunshine Village in Banff National Park.
“We got to talking to some of the organizers and athletes. After his race, he was hooked and now I am too,” said Zenert.
He noted his brother now travels and competes internationally, most recently to Austria, and trains out of Mont Tremblant in Quebec.
“I train with Evolve out of Calgary,” said Zenert. “My first coach was Adam Robertson, who is the brother of 2010 snowboard cross silver medalist Mike Robertson. We train out of Lake Louise every Sunday during ski season but if we lived closer, I would train on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well. Part of my training regimen is weightlifting, which I do locally.”
The boarder said his recent experiences in the sport have given him the opportunity to become part of a close-knit community that includes athletes of all skill levels from beginner to world-class champions.
“I volunteered during Christmas at Lake Louise for a World Cup Snowboard Cross event,” said Zenert. “My brother and I got to rub shoulders with our idols such as Xavier De Le Rue and his brother Victor. Jackson did the fore-run on the world cup run before the competitors did their runs, which was a thrill for him.”
Zenert said when he stands on the top of a hill, waiting to board down a run, it’s an “amazing” feeling. “It is a mix of anxiety, nervousness, tension and visualization of the entire course. You have to experience it to appreciate it,” he said.
He credited his father for everything he has been able to achieve so far.
“My dad is our super, enthusiastic supporter,” said Zenert. “He is the reason we can do this, from travel to equipment to cheering us on. He also designed the Evolve website as well.”
Zenert and his brother share a common goal.
“I want to compete in snowboard cross at the 2022 Olympics,” said the teen. “If my brother does not make the 2018 team, we both want to represent Canada in 2022.”