Canadian Juniors Bonding Around Solid Results at World Champs

    January 22, 2019

     
    LAHTI, Fin.— Canada’s next generation of elite cross-country skiers are crediting a pre-event training camp led by four-time Olympian, Devon Kershaw, for providing a significant boost in bringing the team together and putting down solid results at the 2019 Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland.
     
    “It has been really great working together as a team and watching each other race,” said Remi Drolet, who led the Canucks with a 20th-place performance in the men’s 10-kilometre skate-ski race on Tuesday.
     
    “Having Devon at our pre-camp in Norway last week was really good for us. He really helped with our preparation, and was really good for bringing the team together.”
     
    Kershaw, who retired this summer after a historic 15-year career that saw him climb onto the top of the World Championship podium in addition to racking up 14 World Cup medals, including three victories, was invited to lead the week-long camp to assist with the development of the nation’s cross-country ski program. Part of the funding for the camp was provided by the  Cross Country Ski de fond Canada’s Nordic Canada Development Fund – a newly-created philanthropic program.
     
    The result of his work is demonstrated by the young Canucks turning in respectable results at the international Nordic showcase.
     
    Competing in his second World Junior Championships, Drolet posted a time of 23:48.9 in the individual start race.
     
    “I’m pretty happy with today. I wasn’t that great in the first lap, but I felt really good in the second lap,” said Drolet, of Rossland, B.C. “An individual start race is tough. You have to find a good pace suitable for you. It needs to be a pace that goes out hard, but you can’t blow up either.”
     
    Drolet finished one spot ahead of his Canadian teammate, Sam Hendry, who skied to 21st spot.  The Canmore, Alta. resident posted a time of 23:50.8.
     
    “I’m definitely satisfied. I had heavy legs on the climbs, but I felt like I did a job in pacing myself with how I was feeling,” said Hendry. “In a 10k race, you have to nail every single part of the course, and every single part of the race.”
     
    The Canucks still have some work to do to close the gap on athletes their age. Jules Chappaz, of France, set the time to beat at 22:34.9. Russia’s Alexander Terentev skied to the silver medal at 22:55.9, while Norway’s Iver Tildheim Andersen won the race for the bronze medal at 23:02.1.
     
    Canada’s young guns finished just outside the top-30. Tom Stephen, a 16-year-old from Calgary, finished 31st at 24:11.7. Xavier McKeever, the youngest athlete in the field at 15 years old, was 44th at 24:39.5.
     
    Four Canadians suited up for the women’s five-kilometre race.
     
    Calgary’s Anna Prcyc placed 43rd at 14:27.1; Molly Miller, of Kimberley, B.C., was 50th (14:43.5); Isobel Hendry, of Canmore, Alta., was 58th (14:47.7); and Jasmine Drolet, of Rossland, B.C., finished 67th (15:26.3).
     
    Sweden’s Frida Karlsson topped the women’s field with a time of 12:50.6. Norway’s Helene Marie Fossesholm finished 11 seconds off the pace at 13:01.7, while Finland’s Anita Korva clocked-in at 13:10.4 for the bronze medal.
     
     
    CCC is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, CCC develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on CCC, please visit us at www.cccski.com.