In spite of a last minute schedule and venue change, the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club sent a small but mighty contingent of athletes to the Nickelplate Nordic centre for the first of the BC Cup race series of the New Year. Nickelplate is home to 56km of pristine Nordic trails at 1,800m elevation near Penticton in the Okanagan.
The first day of racing was an interval start free technique race. Despite most of our athletes feeling the effects of the higher altitude, there were many strong races with four podium finishes. Gillian Galik of Royston brought home gold in the Bantam girls category, Maddie Galik (Royston) and Emmanuel Bussani, racing for Strathcona Nordics, hailing from Aldergrove, raced to a fourth place finish and Gabe Gledhill of Cumberland rounded it out with a fifth place in Junior boys.
The second day of racing brought some light flurries mixed with blue skies and glimpses of sun. The cold waxing conditions made for fast skis and exciting races. Maddie Galik had a breakthrough weekend winning a gold medal in the Midget girls category with teammate Carly Ram of Courtenay close behind claiming the bronze medal. Gillian Galik matched her first day performance with a second gold medal. Anna Chatterton of Campbell River showed off her strong skills in classic technique to claim fourth in her 5km event. Emmanuel Bussani was third for the Junior boys and Gabe Gledhill skied a commanding race coming fifth despite a broken pole.
Strathcona’s Tallon Noble, who now trains with the Telemark Club in Kelowna and is also a member of Canada’s National Junior Men’s team, had a standout weekend winning gold medals on both days of racing.
For more information on the Strathcona Nordics check out their new and improved website www.strathconanordics.com or find them on Facebook.