The first event of the 90th Canadian Ski Nationals, sponsored by Haywood, took place today at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Mother Nature has done her best to keep the wax techs on their toes, providing, sun, rain, snow and tonight -10 degree temperatures, typical mountain weather.
The races promise to be an exciting series of competitions, with well over 750 skiers competing, including a fairly large contingent from south of the border. The first weekend will be missing a few competitors, due to the move of the World Cup finals out of Russia, to Quebec City, as a result of the McLaren Doping Report.
This year the team sprint competition was replaced by a relay cross competition, modeled after the event run at last year's Youth Olympic Games. Teams of 2 skied on separate courses, at 30 second intervals. While it didn't have the excitement of head-to-head competition, there were several neat obstacles that the skiers encountered on the course, including rollers, drops, uphill and downhill slaloms and the Escargot. More course info
The first races were the CCUNC competitions. Université Laval's Rouge et Or team won the men's race with Alexis Turgeon and Will Dumas leading the way. Lakehead captured 2nd and Carleton 3rd.
On the women's side Ember Large and Kathryn Stone of U of Alberta were 1st followed by Lakehead and Laval.
The Challenge races saw 71 teams in the Girls competition and 76 Boys teams.
Challenge Girls was won by the team of Anne-Marie Petitclerc and Roxanne Vermette of Mont Ste. Anne. Revelstoke was 2nd and Nakkertok 3rd. The Boys race was won by the Nakkertok team of Ben Milley and Pierre Grall-Johnson, with Canmore and Skibec 2nd and 3rd.
Nakkertok also won the Open Women's race through the efforts of Claire Grall Johnson and Zoe Williams. Lappe and Hardwood completed the podium
The local favourites Canmore's Ty and Reed Godfrey captured the Men's Open class with the U.S team from Bridger Ski Foundation 2nd. As was the case in the women's race, Lappe and Team Hardwood were the 2nd and 3rd Canadian teams.
Club Points Standings
With Saturday evening temperatures of +4 and rain, and the morning forecast at -7, the trails could be a trifle fast for tomorrow's shorter distance skate races.
Don't forget to watch Sunday's World Cup pursuit races from Quebec City, where Alex Harvey looks to come from 3rd and overcome a 22 second gap, to win the World Cup finals minitour, and seal his claim to 3rd on the overall World Cup standings. Cheer for Alex and the rest of the Canadians and watch online on cbc.ca.
Follow the race circuits and National Ski Teams on the CCC website, Twitter