THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Haywood Noram World Trials served up an exciting day of racing at the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre. Andrea Lee and Andy Shields, who both live and train in Thunder Bay with the National Development Centre (NDC) put in a tremendous performance when it mattered the most. Both athletes were the first to cross the line in the Under 23 division at the Haywood Noram World Trials. Their performance gives them an automatic berth to the World Under 23 Championships taking place in Liberec, Czech Republic from January 21-27.
Lee, skiing in the women’s 15-kilometre skiathlon race, posted a time of 46:41, 2 seconds ahead of the next U23 competitor, Heidi Widmer of Alberta. Lee stated after her race, “This is something that I have been working towards for a long time and I am extremely excited about my race today! ” She went onto say, “it was so great to have home course advantage and to have the support of my friends and family alongside me on the trail!” Lee also credits the coaching staff for the great skis and support.
Shields, racing in the 30km skiathlon, finished 7th overall in the Senior Men’s division in a deep field of over 50 skiers. Coming off a very impressive World Cup Sprint debut in December, Shields has been coming into form race after race and has now proved that he is one of the top Under 23 racers in the country. Shields gives credit to many people for his success today, especially the Thunder Bay ski community, “I’m so pleased with how many man-hours the Thunder Bay ski community put into making the trails as great as they were today. Also the fact that they were still able to host the event with so little snow meant that we were able to keep our hometown advantage which was a large part of why my race went so well today.”
The NDC Thunder Bay team also had some other top performances including Jack Carlye who finished 4th in the Junior Men’s 20km skiathlon and Scott Hill close behind in 6th. Alannah MacLean, had a strong performance crossing the line in 7th place in the Junior Women’s category.
These athletes have set themselves up nicely to be solid contenders to make the World Junior Championship Team.
NDC veteran Erin Tribe also put in a very solid performance placing 5th in the Senior Women’s category against some of the top Canadian distance racers.
Thunder Bay native and National Ski Team member, Michael Somppi skied to an impressive 4th place in the 30km Senior Men’s skiathlon, 2 seconds from the medals. The skiathlon is where athletes do the first half of the race in classic technique, change equipment in a transition zone, and do the next half in skate technique.
The first Ontario Cup of the season also took place today with an interval start classic race. Lappe Nordic’s Laura Inkila crossed the line in 3rd position in the 7.7km Juvenile Girls category.
The Haywood Noram Series continues on Saturday with classic sprints while the Ontario Cup Series continues tomorrow with classic sprints.
Full results can be found at http://zone4.ca/results.asp?ID=5224&cat=all