A 10-person team from the Strathcona Nordics competed in categories from U14 to U20 at the recent Haywood Western Canada Cup, Jan. 16-19 at Whistler Olympic Park.
Three days of cross-country ski racing started with sprints using free technique. Hugo Henckel of Courtenay continued a strong start to his season with a bronze medal. Anna Chatterton of Campbell River advanced to the A final to finish fifth. For the U14 categories, the race was a 2.5km prologue with Carly Ram of Comox finishing fifth. Gabe Gledhill of Cumberland, racing up in the U20 category, finished fourth in the sprint qualifier. Emma Wong of Courtenay and Amelia Wells of Victoria were third and fourth respectively in the U18 sprint qualifier.
The second day was a distance interval start classic race. Course officials chose a challenging and hilly course similar to that skied at the 2010 Olympics.
“As a parent volunteer, I got to witness the commitment, hard work ethic and passion our athletes, coaches and wax team have for Nordic skiing. When asked how they liked the course at Westerns, the replies with big smiles were, ‘Super hard steep hills but that made for some fun and fast descents,’” said Wendy Johnstone.
Gledhill had another strong fourth-place finish in the U20 category, and Wong remained consistent with a third in U18 girls. Maddie Galik of Royston overcame a fall to reach the podium with a bronze medal. Gavin Chatterton of Campbell River used his impressive downhill ski skills to claim fifth place.
The weekend was capped off with provincial relay race teams. B.C. teams dominated all categories. Wong helped her team to a silver medal. Wells won bronze.
The team continues to train on Mt. Washington and travels to Prince George in February for the next of the BC Cup Racing Series.