Shields – Both the Distance and the Speed

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Andy Shields
Andy Shields celebrates in this photo by Jim Cameron

THUNDER BAY – National Development Centre athlete Andy Shields showed again today why he deserves to go to the World Junior Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. Not only has he shown he can go the distance but now he has shown he can ski with speed.

“I had a great race today. Classic sprinting isn’t my specialty so coming in third was a great result for me,” said Shields. Shields was not only thrilled with his performance he was also excited to receive a podium sheep wool hat, an event sponsored artisan gift care of Egli’s Sheep Farm.

Today’s Haywood Noram Teck sprint series event was the second day of racing at the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre as part of the Haywood Noram World Jr / U23, World Senior Distance Trials, Canada Winter Games Ontario Team Qualifier, and Ontario Cup #2. 310 athletes from all age categories raced in frigid temperatures hovering near -20 C but later were offered some relief from the sun when it warmed up to – 10 degrees. The difficult 1.6km sprint course took its toll on the athletes who went on to compete in multiple sprint heats.

Local National Development Team athletes Micheal Somppi and Erin Tribe, who finished 9th and  11th respectively, secured spots on the Canada Winter Games Ontario Team. Both posted the fastest Ontario qualifying times and therefore earned a berth to the Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia from February 11-27th, 2011.

Racing continues tomorrow Sunday, January 9th at 11am with a middle distance skate race, which for the Sr. Women will be a qualifier for Canadian World Championship team headed to Oslo, Norway. Sunday will also be the final opportunity for the Junior and U/23 categories to qualify for their respective World Championships in Estonia and the Canada Winter Games Ontario Team.

On Sunday, you can head out to catch the last day of action. Tomorrow’s races are middle distance free style races with interval starts. The official start time for tomorrow is 11am. The category’s begin as follows:

– Open Men Freestyle 15km (start at 11am)
– Open Women Freestyle 10km (start at 12:06)

*AWARDS for Open Men and Women*

– Juvenile Boys Freestyle 5km (start at 13:06)
– Juvenile Girls Freestyle 5km (start at 13:11)
– Midget Boys Freestyle 5km (start at 13:19)
– Midget Girls Freestyle 5km (start at 13:22)

*AWARDS for Juvenile and Midget Men and Women*

For more information please visit the event website at www.skinoram2011.com or for top results (and top local ski results) see below. All results can now be found on www.zone4.ca