By Andrew Mitchell
The Whistler Nordics hosted the fifth and final Coast Cup cross-country race of the season this past Sunday, Feb. 18 at Lost Lake Park. The format was individual start in the classic technique, with skiers leaving the start line at 30 second intervals.
It was a very different kind of race for skate ski-crazy Whistler, but the youth categories had no trouble finding racers to fill out the field.
The length of the course depended on your age group, with the youngest kids tackling a 1 km course and adults lopping a full 10 km.
In Mini Atom 6 and Under, Dylan Hamilton of Hollyburn was the fastest in 13:08, followed by teammates Lauren Heilig and Anna Heilig in 16:15 and 16:47 respectively.
In Atom 7-8, Whistler’s Lauren McKay was fastest in 6:06, followed closely by Michael Murdoch in 6:14 and Ian Davidson in 6:31. Aidan O’Heany raced Davidson to the finish, finishing just 0.4 seconds back of third.
In Peewee 9-10, where skiers raced a 2 km course, Hollyburn Jackrabbits scooped up the top three spots again with Katei Weaver in first place, Erik Heilig second, and Peter Smith third. The top Whistler skier was Braden Metza, fifth out of 16 starters, 10 seconds back of third.
Hollyburn also topped the Mini Midget 11-12 category, a group which raced 3 km. Sam Morris, Seth Hayes and Marissa Woods were first through third. Pemberton’s Tachona Jones was fourth in that category.
The biggest category was the Midget 13-14 group, which had 22 racers who tackled a 5 km course. Jorgen Liset of TFS finished almost two minutes ahead of the other skiers, with Whistler’s Bobby Bunbury placing third, just four seconds back of Samuel Purchase of Hollyburn. Whistler’s Birken Metza also cracked the top-10, finishing in eighth place.
In Juvenile 15-16, Kris Liset was the speediest racer by half a second over Hollyburn’s Harry Weaver. George Urosevic of Hollyburn was third.
In the Junior 17-18 race, which was 10 km in length, Nicolas Spurling of the Hollyburn Jackrabbits raced unopposed, as did the Whistler Nordics Sydney VanLoon in the Junior 19-20 race.
There were just two racers in the Master A 31-40 race, with Whistler Nordics coach Sten Grahn placing first in 31:43, followed by Tyler Mosher, a member of the national para-development team as well as the Whistler Nordics. Mosher was also the only local athlete invited to compete at the nationals with Team B.C.
In Master B 41-50, Petr Jakl of Hollyburn took the win by more than six minutes over teammate Rob Putnam. Robert Metza of Whistler was a strong third. Joanne Woods and Birgit Weaver of Hollyburn were the top women in that race, followed by Whistler skiers Cheryl Morningstar and Brenda Davison.
In Master C 51-Plus, Bill Moore of Whistler was the top skier, followed by David Kirby and Roald Liset of Hollyburn.
The next event for local cross-country skiers is the Lost Lake Shuffle this weekend. Visit www.crosscountryconnection.ca for details.