Carly Ram (left) and Maddie Galik (right) had top finishes of 4th and 3rd respectively at the Western Canada cross country skiing championships. Photo by Marika Galik

Strathcona Nordics battle travel conditions, course to register strong performances

Team competed in the Western Canada Cup in Whistler

Recently, over 400 athletes and coaches travelled to Whistler Olympic Park to compete in the Haywood Western Canada Cup in Cross Country skiing.

The Strathcona Nordics travelled with 10 athletes to compete in categories from U14 to U20.

Weather and windy storms have made travelling difficult for the team so far this season, but despite ferry cancellations and road closures, they managed to arrive on time and challenge the competition. There were three days of racing starting off with sprint races using free technique.

Hugo Henckel of Courtenay continued a strong start to his season, finishing with a bronze medal. Anna Chatterton of Campbell River made it to the A final to finish in 5th place.

For the U14 categories, the race was a 2.5 km prologue with Carly Ram of Comox finishing in 5th place.

Gabe Gledhill of Cumberland, racing up in the U20 category finished in a strong 4th place in the sprint qualifier and Emma Wong of Courtenay and Amelia Wells of Victoria, finished 3rd and 4th respectively, in the U18 sprint qualifier.

The second day was a distance interval start classic race. The course officials chose a challenging and hilly course similar to that skied at the 2010 Olympics.

“As a parent volunteer, I got to witness the commitment, hard work ethic and passion our athletes, coaches and wax team have for Nordic skiing. When asked how they liked the course at Westerns, the replies with big smiles were, ‘Super hard steep hills but that made for some fun and fast descents!’”said Wendy Johnstone.

Gabe Gledhill had another strong 4th place finish in the U20 category and Emma Wong of Courtenay remained consistent with a 3rd for the U18 girls. Maddie Galik of Royston overcame a fall on course to finish on the podium with a bronze medal. Gavin Chatterton of Campbell River used his impressive downhill ski skills to claim 5th place.

The weekend was capped off with provincial relay race teams. The B.C. teams dominated all categories with Emma Wong helping her team to a Silver medal and Amelia Wells of Victoria capturing bronze.

The team continues to train on Mt. Washington and travels to Prince George next month for the next of the BC Cup Racing Series.