THUNDER BAY – Sports – NDC-Thunder Bay athletes had a terrific weekend in Rossland, BC at the Black Jack Ski Club racing in the Haywood NorAm and Teck Sprint Series. These races attract some of the best skiers from all over North America. On the first day of competition, Thunder Bay veteran Michael Somppi finished a career best 4th place in the 1.6km freestyle sprint race. Teammate, Harry Seaton also had a very strong performance and personal best, 5th place.
The course was very technical with sharp corners and tight turns and the Thunder Bay contingent skied very smart. Seaton said, “I had a great day! It was a tricky, fast course and I managed to ski it really smart.” Off a stellar Junior career last season, Andy Shields has shown that he can ski with the best skiers from across North America as he placed an amazing 8th place as a first year Senior Man. At the end of the day he was the 2nd Under 23 athlete. NDC member Chris Hamilton placed a very respectable 15th.
Head Coach Eric Bailey was very happy with how the day unraveled, “This is the first time in my 8 years with the centre that I have had 2 athletes in the A final together. To see Andy finish in the top 10 is just incredible! All of the athletes did amazing and I am so proud of them.”
On the women’s side in the 1.4km free sprints, NDC member Erin Tribe crossed the line in 11th position and Andrea Lee finished 14th.
The second day of competition, the 15km free mass start for the men and 10km free mass start for the women, saw many more top results for the team. Seaton shows he is in fine form this year as he grabbed another best ever result in the Noram series, finishing 12th. Somppi shows that he is getting better and better each race as he crossed the line in 7th position. On the women’s side, Erin Tribe had a very solid performance and finished in 11th.
Bailey was very excited with how the weekend went, “I am so pumped with our team, each athlete worked very hard and put in great effort. Our focus now swithces to one of our main peak performances of the season, the World Junior and Under 23 Trials taking place January 12th-15th. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the NDC team!”
Full results can be found on www.zone4.ca
The athletes will now travel home for Christmas and will re-group in Thunder Bay for the first day of competition at the Ontario Cup taking place at the Lappe Nordic Centre on January 6th. The team then travels to Callaghan Valley, BC for the next stop on the Haywood Noram and Teck Sprint Series – the World Junior and Under 23 Championship Trials occurring January 12th-15th.