2018 Cana­dian Ski Na­tion­als

2018 Ski Na­tion­als The 91st Ski Na­tion­als were held March 10-17 at Lappe Nordic in Thun­der Bay, Ont., some­times re­ferred to as Lake­head be­cause it is sit­u­ated at the top of the Great Lakes, re­ceiv­ing an an­nual 213 cen­time­tres, or nearly 85 inches, of snow

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Noah Simms

The Cham­pi­onships kicked off with sunny weather and the Team Re­lay com­pe­ti­tion as Nakker­tok claimed vic­to­ries in the Open Women’s and Open Men’s cat­e­gories, with Mont-ste-anne and Foothills win­ning the Chal­lenge-cat­e­gory races. Car­leton Univer­sity won the women’s Na­tional Cham­pi­onship race, with Nipiss­ing Univer­sity edg­ing out Laval Univer­sity in a photo fin­ish for the men.

Scott Hill (Bar­rie XC) started off Day Two claim­ing gold in the Open Men’s In­di­vid­ual-start Clas­sic race, just un­der two sec­onds ahead of Ski­nouk’s An­toine Cyr, the top ju­nior man.

Olivia Bouf­fard-nes­bitt (Fon­deurs-lau­ren­tides/rmr) claimed the women’s ti­tle, with Han­nah Me­hain (BC, Okana­gan College/sov­er­eign Lake Nordic/cn­jrst) grab­bing gold in the ju­nior women’s class.

The Day Three Pur­suit took place with the 10/15km Freestyle races that were com­bined with In­ter­val-start Clas­sic race times for the over­all Pur­suit time.

In the se­nior women’s race, Amer­i­can Caitlin Gregg (CXC/TEAM Gregg/lnr) came back from a 13-sec­ond deficit to hand­ily win the women’s over­all ti­tle by more than a minute ahead of Bouf­fard-nes­bitt (Fon­deurs-lau­ren­tides/rmr). Annika Hicks (Can­more Nordic/ AIAWCA) won the sil­ver medal and Nakker­tok Nordique’s Kather­ine Ste­wart-jones nabbed the bronze. Gregg had the fastest time in the skate por­tion, ahead of Frédérique Véz­ina (CNMSA/CNEPH).

The men’s 15km race was close un­til the fin­ish, with Jesse Cock­ney (AB, Foothills NORDIC/AIAWCA-NST) edg­ing ahead of Can­more’s ju­nior skier Ty God­frey at the line by 1.2 sec­onds over­all. Lo­cal favourites Lappe Nordic’s Michael Somppi and club­mate Evan Palmer-char­rette were the sec­ond- and third-fastest se­niors, within 1.5 sec­onds of God­frey. Somppi, an ex­pert in the 15km, reg­is­tered the fastest time of the day. Cyr and Reed God­frey were sec­ond and third over­all for the ju­niors.

There was an­other medal for the lo­cal fans as Kai Meekis of Big Thun­der won the ju­nior boys’ race, and in the ju­nior girls’ event, Mon­tSte-anne’s Rox­anne Ver­mette led a pro­ces­sion across the line to win gold. Ju­ve­nile honours went to Thomas Stephen of Foothills Nordic and Marielle Ack­er­mann of Kim­ber­ley.

Next up were the Long Sprints on Day Five. Annika Richard­son (BC, Holly­burn Ski CLUB/NTDC Tbay) claimed the ju­nior women’s ti­tle over Lisle Comp­ton (ON, Lake­head U./kenora Nordic/ntdc Tbay) in sec­ond, with Me­hain in third.

Éti­enne Hébert ( QC, Mon­tériski/aiawca) edged out Gra­ham Ritchie (ON, Big Thun­der Nordic/ntdc Tbay) for the ju­nior men’s gold, as Cyr landed third on podium.

In the se­nior women’s race, Maya Macisaac-jones (AB, Rocky Moun­tain Rac­ers/cn) claimed the vic­tory over Nakker­tok Nordique’s

Ste­wart-jones, with Alan­nah Ma­clean (ON, Walden Nordic/ntdc Tbay) close be­hind in third.

Cock­ney grabbed him­self an­other podium in the se­nior men’s race, with Andy Shields (ON, Lappe Nordic) tak­ing the sil­ver and Palmer-char­rette (Lappe Nordic/ntdc Tbay) bring­ing home the fi­nal podium spot.

Mal­colm Thomp­son cruised to gold in the 1.2km Short-sprint event, edg­ing out Meekis for the top spot. Thomp­son, a Parry Sound, Ont. na­tive who skis un­der the Big Thun­der Nordic Ski Club ban­ner, crossed the line 1.46 sec­onds ahead of Meekis and eight sec­onds faster than third-place fin­isher Ian Wil­liams of B.C.

The Short-sprint Cham­pi­onships were de­layed due to tem­per­a­ture, but that didn’t keep the home­town crowd away. “On that up­hill, the whole Thun­der Bay com­mu­nity was out there lin­ing the sides; it was just awe­some to see,” said Thomp­son, adding the win is mo­ti­va­tion enough to pro­pel him into the ju­nior men’s cat­e­gory.

Mont-ste-anne’s Ver­mette took gold in the ju­nior girls’ race, a split sec­ond faster than Heidi Ste­wart, as B.C.’S Molly Miller took bronze. Ste­wart, who barely made it into the Cham­pi­onship race with less than half-a-sec­ond cush­ion, skied her way from the back of the pack a third of the way through the A fi­nal to claim sil­ver, her first medal of the com­pe­ti­tion.

In the ju­ve­nile girls’ race, Que­bec’s Lil­iane Gagnon took the top spot, while in the ju­ve­nile boys’ event, Foothills Nordic’s Stephen claimed gold.

Af­ter a day off, the fi­nal day of rac­ing, saw a tight race for the se­nior men’s Mass-start 50km Clas­sic ti­tle. The first group of skiers were within 10 sec­onds of each other as Lappe Nordic’s Char­rette claimed gold, fol­lowed closely by Hill and team­mate Ryan Jack­son, both of Bar­rie XC. Ju­lian Smith of NTDC Tbay was fourth, with Lappe Nordic’s Somppi in fifth.

The ju­nior men’s 30km race saw Ski­nouk’s Cyr take gold, with God­frey and team­mate Sa­muel Gary Hendry shar­ing the podium in sec­ond and third.

In the ju­nior boy’s 15km, Olivier Léveillé of Que­bec won, with B.C.’S Wil­liams hot on his tail. Big Thun­der’s Meekis grabbed his fourth medal of the week, cap­tur­ing bronze.

Nakker­tok Nordique’s Ste­wart-jones stepped up the pace for her gold in the se­nior women’s 30km Clas­sic race. In the end, it came down to tim­ing, as a pack of the coun­try’s top skiers and Amer­i­can Gregg (CXC/TEAM Gregg/lnr) forged their way to the front and stuck to­gether un­til af­ter the third lap, when Ste­wartJones pushed her way into a good po­si­tion near the front without go­ing too hard, wait­ing un­til the last hill to give ev­ery­thing and not look back.

She found a burst of en­ergy in the last 500 me­tres to out­last Hicks (Can­more NORDIC/AIAWCA) and team­mate Ma­clean to grab the top spot. For Ma­clean (Walden Nordic/ntdc Tbay), an NTDC vet­eran, it was a chance at one fi­nal medal, hav­ing an­nounced she’s leav­ing Elite ski rac­ing.

It was more of the same for Kenora’s Comp­ton in the ju­nior 20km women’s race, as she pulled away in the end to edge Yukon’s Natalie Hynes by five sec­onds, her sec­ond In­di­vid­ual gold of the week. Sov­er­eign Lake Nordic’s Me­hain took third.

Al­berta's Maya Macisaac-jones (Rocky Moun­tain Rac­ers/cn) claimed the vic­tory over On­tario's Ste­wart-jones (Nakker­tok Nordique) in the women's Long Sprint.

Que­bec's Olivia Bouf­fard- Bouf­fard-nes­bitt Nes­bitt ( (Fon­deurs-lau­ren­tides/rmr) Fon­deurs- Lau­ren­tides/ RMR) claimed the In­di­vid­ual Start CL and Pur­suit ti­tles.

Men's Pur­suit podium (l-r) Ty God­frey, Jesse Cock­ney, Michael Somppi, Evan Palmer-charette, An­toine Cyr

On­tario's Scott Hill (Bar­rie XC) claimed gold in the Open Men's In­di­vid­ual-start Clas­sic race.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.