The Strathcona Nordic race team, based on Mt. Washington, competed at the first of the BC Cup series near Salmon Arm at Larch Hills Nordic Area. More than 400 athletes from across B.C. attended the two-day event.
The first day of racing was a series of classic technique sprint races. This was a challenging course ranging from 150 to 800 metres. Most athletes had to tackle “the beast” on the uphill climb to the finish line. The local team of 13 athletes had seven podium finishes. Ben Galik of Royston came second, while his older sisters also reached the podium. Gillian Galik continued to dominate U12 girls with gold and Maddie Galik was fourth in a competitive U14 category.
For the older athletes, Hugo Henckel of Courtenay stayed strong on his feet avoiding a crash with a fallen competitor to win the silver medal and Gabe Gledhill of Cumberland stayed focused through his heats to finish third. For the U18 girls, Emma Wong of Courtenay and Amelia Wells of Victoria finished second and third respectively.
The second day of racing was a hilly interval skate race. Each athlete raced the clock starting at 15-30 second intervals. Gillian Galik finished second in her category and Carly Ram of Comox flew up the hills to finish fourth. For the U14 boys, Gavin Chatterton skied a strong race to claim the bronze medal. Wong and Wells showed impressive consistency and grit to again finish second and third respectively.
“I was very impressed with the entire team in how they dealt with the challenges presented from road closures to tricky snow conditions,” head coach Andrea Stapff said. “The entire weekend was about supporting each other; it was great to see the camaraderie and effort put out by each and every athlete. It was a very good weekend.”
For more information about the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club, visit www.strathconanordics.com