National Development Centre Nordic Skiers Come Away with Top Five Finishes

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Andy Shields
Andy Shields skiing to a win last winter
WHISTLER, BC -SPORTS – Three Thunder Bay skiers, members of the National Development Centre in Thunder Bay came away with top 5 finishes in the skiathlon cross country ski race on Thursday in the Haywood Noram World Trial races held at Whitstler Olympic Park.

Black Creek native, Andrea Lee finished the 15km skiathlon in 5th position in the Under 23 category and placed 10th overall. She is confident leading into the next set of races. “It was great to be racing on the Olympic course under blue skies! I was very happy with the race today. After a sluggish start to the season, I was happy to place in the top ten. It is definitely a confidence boost heading into the next couple days of racing,” commented Lee.

NDC teammate, Chris Hamilton had a strong ski, clocking the 4th fastest Under 23 time (9th Overall) in the 30km skiathlon. Chris found the course to be challenging. “Today was a challenging course with many long climbs and tricky descents”, said Hamilton after his race. “You really needed to keep your head on straight and watch your pacing. Mike, Andy and myself managed to form up together about a quarter into the race and ski together to maintain a fast but manageable pace. But a 30km is going to hurt sooner or later, and we all got a taste by the end”.

Andy Shields, in his first year of Under 23 competition also had a strong start to the trials, crossing the line as the 5th Under 23 skier.

Racing resumes in Whistler with a freestyle sprint on Saturday and a 10/15 k classic on Sunday. Athletes are selected to the World Junior and U23 Championship teams based on their performance in the 3 races taking place in Whistler.

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