Considering their limited number of on-snow training sessions, Strathcona Nordic racers acquitted themselves well at the Haywood NorAm/US Super Tour Series, Dec.9/10 in Vernon. The cross-country ski race attracted skiers from across the continent.
“Our athletes’ efforts at dryland training, team building and pre-race preparation have been excellent, and are now paying off,” assistant coach Brad Fraser said.
Juvenile boys, 14 and 15 years, earned five top 10 finishes in a field of 40 competitors. In the classic technique 5km mass start race, Gabe Gledhill of Cumberland was fourth, Aiden Noble of Courtenay seventh and Stephen Lamon of Comox eighth. In the 5k skate race, Noble was fourth and Gledhill sixth.
Naomi Swift of Comox placed ninth in the 2.5k classic, and 10th in the 2.5k skate in the midget category. Representing juvenile girls, Amelia Wells of Victoria placed sixth in the 5k skate, and Emma Wong of Comox came in sixth in the 5k classic.
Tallon Noble, now living and training in Kelowna but still racing for Strathcona Nordics, also showed talent in the junior men category. Racing hard against 50-plus competitors, he placed 10th in the 15k skate, and fifth in the 1.3k classic sprint.
Athletes were again appreciative of the efforts of the wax team.
“Our skis were so fast,” said Zander Swift of juvenile boys. “Our wax team nailed it for the conditions.”
All in all, the race was a big success.
“I am very pleased with the performance of all our racers who competed at this NorAm. It’s a very competitive event, on a tough course at altitude, which means hard, any way you slice it. They all did extremely well and showed tremendous grit; a great way to begin our racing season,” said head coach Andrea Stapff of Campbell River.
Next for the Nordics is a four-day training camp on snow Dec. 27-29, followed by BC Winter Games trials Dec. 30 at Mount Washington.
FMI: strathconanordics.com, or find the club on Facebook and Instagram.
The club is still registering for winter. It offers programs for all ages and abilities, including coaching and officiating. Check out the popular Masters Recreation, Rabbits, and newer Youth Learn to Ski and Adventure (SNAP) programs.