The Strathcona Nordic junior team, in new club racing suits, gather in Gatineau, Que. for the final event of the season. Photo by Katherine Brandt

Courtenay skier earns silver medal at nationals

Strathcona Nordic Ski Club wrapped up the race season at the Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships at Nakkertok Ski Club in Gatineau, Que. at the end of March. Tallon Noble earned a silver medal in the 1.3 km skate sprint.

Eight athletes, aged 15 to 19, showcased their strength and speed on challenging courses against the fastest skiers in Canada. The team finished the week-long series of races in 20th place out of 61 clubs/teams.

“In all events throughout the week, our athletes upped their game and delivered their best performances of the season. I am so proud of this great group of young people,” said coach Andrea Stapff of Campbell River. “Two of our athletes also did well in national aggregate results. Gabe Gledhill of Cumberland placed fourth for 2002 boys, and Hugo Henckel of Courtenay earned fifth for 2004 boys. These are really great results showing the depth of abilities from short sprint to long distance in both skate and classic disciplines.”

Strathcona athletes had many top 10 placings. Noble, 19, who trains with Team Telemark in Kelowna and is also a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, was ninth in the 30 km classic, along with his silver. Gabe placed top 10 in four out of five events: 10th in skate pursuit, 7th in skate sprint, 5th in classic 15 km and 9th in two-person team sprints along with partner Emmanuel Bussani from Aldergrove. Junior girl Emma Wong of Courtenay was 5th in the 5km interval start classic race, 9th in the 10 km classic mass start and 12th in the skate sprint. Hugo placed 5th in the classic 7.5km race for juvenile boys.

Athletes will take a break before resuming training for the 2019/2020 season in early May.

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