THUNDER BAY – Sports – National Development Centre-Thunder Bay (NDC) Cross Country ski athletes, Erin Tribe and Andy Shields made their mark on the trails this past weekend at the Haywood NorAm race series that took place at the Canmore Nordic Centre located in Canmore, AB.
NDC veteran Erin Tribe proved that she is one of the top sprinters in Canada taking 8th spot in the qualifying round in the 1.3km freestyle sprint, eventually finishing 13th overall. Shields, hailing from Kitchener, ON. in his 3rd year with NDC, grabbed 8th place in the qualifiers in the Open Men’s 1.3km sprint. These finishes solidified Tribe and Shields a start at the World Cup races taking place in Quebec City next weekend.
Tribe will also go on to represent Canada in the sprint race at the Alberta World Cup races taking place in Canmore, AB on December 15th.
Shields, was very satisfied with his race, ” I felt pretty good on Saturday – not only was it a selection race but it was also the first race of the season so I thought nerves would be a bit of an issue, but our preparation for the season was so good that I felt very comfortable racing. The qualifier was the highlight of my day!” Shields is very excited to have qualified for his first world cup, “obviously, I’m pretty happy to qualify for my first world cup – the fact that it’s a sprint in a cool city like Quebec makes it that much better.”
Tribe, who just heard the news that she will be racing in both the Quebec City World Cups taking place next weekend as well as the Canmore World Cups taking place December 15th, is a goal she has been working towards since the start of the season.
Tribe stated after her race, “Qualifying for the domestic World Cups was a goal I had this season that was very motivating during summer training. Moving out of the Under 23 category allowed me to focus on a new type of goal and to try some new things. The day as a whole was enough to grab a spot and I couldn’t be happier! “
NDC Head Coach, Mark Doble, in his first year with the team, was very satisfied with the team’s results, “being the first races of the season, I am very happy with how the team performed. Erin and Andy have worked tremendously hard all summer and these races proved that their hard work is paying off.” Doble went on to say, “This has been a goal for them from the start of the season and to have the selection races as the first set of races and at altitude, was a challenge, but they came out and gave it their all.” As far as the World Cups starts go, Doble stated, “their first world cup will serve as a great learning opportunity for both athletes. They will take away many great experiences and will learn what it is like to race against the best skiers in the world.”
Other top results from the weekend included NDC rookie Scott Hill, claiming bronze in the Junior Men’s 15km classic as well as Jack Carlyle, close behind in 5th position. This bodes extremely well for the World Junior and Under 23 trial races taking place in Thunder Bay early January as these NDC athletes proved they are amongst the top Junior racers in Canada.
NDC alumni Michael Somppi also qualified for the Alberta World Cups and will be on the start line for all 3 races which include 2 distance and 1 sprint race. More details on the Alberta world cup can be found at http://www.albertaworldcup.com/main.php?p=405
Racing continues next weekend where Tribe and Shields will proudly represent Canada in the Quebec World Cup taking place downtown Quebec City. All other NDC athletes will continue on the NorAm race series taking place at Sovereign Lakes Nordic Centre, BC.
Full results from the weekend can be found here:
Sprint results (December 1st): http://zone4.ca/results.asp?id=5150
Distance results (December 2nd): http://zone4.ca/results.asp?id=5151