A group of racers from the Whistler Nordics headed to Telemark Cross-Country Ski Club in Kelowna last weekend for a combined Haywood NorAm, Westerns, B.C. Cup pursuit and a mass start free event.
This was the first time that the club has sent such a large group of skiers to an event of this calibre, and it resulted in one podium at the Westerns for Jenya Nordin, a member of the Whistler Nordics Devo Team.
Several other young skiers also took part in the B.C. Cup events and made the podium, including Michael Murdoch and Fraser Doak, as did some adults competing in the NorAm.
In the Open Men's 15 km Free Pursuit, which included some members of the national team, Thomsen D'Hont of the Whistler-based Callaghan Valley Training Centre placed seventh overall. Olivia Boufard-Nesbitt was ninth in the Women's 10 km Free Pursuit, while her CVTC teammates Kasja Heyes was 10th, Adriene Underhill was 14th.
In the Junior Girls 5 km Free pursuit, Nicki Murdoch placed 15th out of 27 skiers.
Elle Johnston was fourth in the Atom Girls 1 km Free Pursuit.
Michael Murdoch and Fraser Doak dominated the Pee Wee Boys 1/2 category, placing first and second out of 26 racers. Samuel Johnston and Ian Davidson of Whistler were fifth and sixth in the same category.
Brent Murdoch raced in the Masters Men 40 to 49 15 km Free Pursuit, placing fifth. Patrick Johnston was 10th in the same group.
Kristin Johnston was sixth in the Masters Women 40 to 49 10 km Free Pursuit, with Sarah Sladen in ninth, Margot Mudroch in 10th and Alison Iles in 11th.
Jack Iles raced in the Midget Boys 2 5km Free Pursuit, placing 10th overall.
Austin Reith was eighth in Midget Boys 1 5 km Free Pursuit.
Jenya Nordin was ninth in Juvenile Girls 5 km Free Pursuit, while Lauren Doak was 14th in the same category.
In the sprint, Jenya Nordin moved up to third overall in her category, while Nicki Murdoch and Lauren Doal were 18th and 24th respectively. Elle Johnston was fourth once again.
Michael Murdoch won a silver in that race, followed by Samuel Johnston in fifth, Ian Davidson in sixth and Fraser Doak in seventh.
In the 2.7 km prologue, Jennifer Tabbernor won the gold medal, Jenya Nordin and Lauren Doak were 13th and 23rd, Nicki Murdoch 18th, Austin Reith was 19th, Jack Iles 32nd and Brent Murdoch fifth.
"They are really good results for us, so everyone is quite stoked," said Whistler Nordics coach Maria Lundgren. "It may not be the first time that the club has gone to the westerns but this was our biggest team and it's the first time we've won a medal, so it was a big weekend for the team. It was a good step in the right direction."
Next up for the team are the B.C. Championships in Kamloops on the Feb. 18 weekend, followed by the nationals in Canmore in March - also a first for the team.
"We're mostly going to see and learn, but the first nationals is a big deal for athletes," said Lundgren. "It's a long way to go to see and learn, but we're excited that the kids want to go. We're definitely going in the right direction."
Lundgren thanked the Nordic Shoppe, which provided Camille Cheskey to the team for the weekend to help out as the wax tech. "It made a big difference for us," said Lundgren. "He's a good wax tech, and we had fast skis this weekend."