A team of racers from Strathcona Nordic Ski Club competed in mid-March at the long awaited National Cross Country ski Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Over 600 athletes from across Canada, the United States and Europe participated in the week-long event at Lappe Nordic Centre.
The six-member team skied hard and represented Vancouver Island well in the most competitive race event of the season. Achieving his best-ever result at this level, 15-year-old Gabe Gledhill finished third in the skate sprint, bringing home a bronze medal.
“The event was a big success for our racers,” said parent and wax technician Stewart Lamon, who accompanied the group and worked tirelessly to match ski waxes to changing snow conditions, from minus 15 in the morning races to above zero in the later races.
“The race venue at Lappe Nordic was stellar,” added racer Stephen Lamon.
The junior racers, aged 15 and 16 years, train hard all season and prepare with dedication and focus for the final championship race of the season, against the fastest skiers in the nation.
“It was a great week at Nationals for our athletes with several best ever performances,” head coach Andrea Stapff said. “I’m really proud of the entire team; they really put it all out there when it mattered most. They showed tenacity, composure and brilliant skiing throughout the week in a very competitive and challenging series of races.”
These top 10 results are impressive, considering the large fields of up to 70 racers. Gabe Gledhill: bronze in skate sprint, 6th in skate middle distance and 6th in classic long distance. Stephen Lamon: 9th in classic short distance and 10th in skate short sprint. Emma Wong: 10th in classic short distance. In the classic team sprint relay, Emma Wong and Amelia Wells earned 5th, and Stephen Lamon and Gabe Gledhill came in 7th.
Stephen Lamon: 8th in overall pursuit and 9th in classic short distance.
Amelia Wells: 9th in overall pursuit.
Emma Wong: 9th in classic long distance.
National Aggregate awards were also earned by our local racers, based on cumulative results at all national and provincial races throughout the season. Tallon Noble, 5th 1999 boys; Gabe Gledhill, 6th 2002 boys; Stephen Lamon, 7th 2002 boys; Emma Wong , 9th2002 girls.
Next on the agenda for Strathcona Nordics is May ski camp. Stay tuned for details. Find out more at Strathconanordics.com and check them out on Facebook and Instagram.