The Kimberley Nordic Racers are back in action this winter, with the first two weekends of racing under their belts. Despite the challenges of training with very little snow on our trails, the team is excited about the upcoming season. Not only are they sporting new race suits this year, the team has grown to its largest size ever, with 14 members on the racing team.
The first races were at Sovereign Lake in Vernon on November 30th and December 1st. Quinn Morgan, Ben Gadd, Marielle Ackermann, Sydney Wilson, Darah Clarke, Sadie Demars and Raleigh Tarte represented Kimberley with some excellent results. This large event had skiers from BC, Alberta, and multiple teams from the USA present. The skate race on Saturday saw Marielle finish in 3rd place in her age group and Sydney in 7th, out of 47 skiers. Raleigh Tarte, in his first season with the racing team, had an excellent 5th place finish in his age group on Saturday. In the Sunday classic mass start race, Sydney and Marielle skied together to finish with an exciting sprint in 4th and 3rd place respectively.
The racing team, with the support of head coach Tim Wintoniw and assistant Frank Ackermann, spent most of last week in Canmore prepping and racing at the Haywood NorAm/US Super Tour that were held from December 6th to 8th. The conditions were challenging and the competitive field was the largest that the team had ever seen, with over 700 racers registered. The skate sprints on Friday were difficult for the skiers to qualify in, as only the fastest 30 skiers in each age group move onto the elimination heats and finals. Marielle was the sole qualifier on the team, but unfortunately she fell after getting tangled up with another skier in her heat and was knocked out in the quarter finals. The individual classic races on Saturday saw some excellent results in our younger skiers, with Roan Christie and Raleigh Tarte coming in 3rd and 4th (out of 48 skiers) respectively, and Sadie Demars finishing in 4th place out of 50 skiers. The team’s top results in the skate races on Sunday included Marielle 6th out of 51 skiers, Sadie 12th out of 54 skiers, and the duo of Raleigh and Roan 7th and 8th out of 53 skiers.
The skiers now have 3 weeks without races, prior to going to Rossland at the end of the month for the Kootenay Cup and qualifier races for the BC Winter Games. You will see this large group of enthusiastic young skiers training on the trails over the holidays.