THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals, University (CCUNC) and Para Nordic Championships started Saturday at the Lappe Ski Centre in Thunder Bay. After a chilly start in the morning, the conditions were fast under a clear blue sky.
In the Para Nordic Sit Men’s 5 km race was an intense competition that saw Yves Bourque from Mauriski, PQ, take home the gold medal with an impressive time of 20:00. Konan Blaise Koko from Kivi-Nordic, ON, claimed the second position with a time of 43:53. The Para Nordic Standing Men’s 7.5 km race followed, with Logan Cox of Kimberley Nordic, BC, taking the gold in a time of 20:02. Logan Lariviere of Kivi-Nordic, ON, claimed silver in 23:51, and Felix Lafond of Fondeurs-Laurentides, PQ, took bronze in 24:16.
The U18/U16 boys’ race witnessed the participation of almost 200 athletes. Adam Heale of Black Jack Nordic, BC, won the U18 boys 7.5 km race, completing the race in a time of 17:50. Eamon Wilson of Hollyburn Ski Club, BC, claimed silver in 18:03, followed by teammate Dustin Hay with a time of 18:22. The local athletes, Cedric Martel and Edgar Sarrazin, both from Lappe Nordic, finished in fifth (18:43) and tenth (18:56) positions, respectively. Willem van Duyn of Big Thunder Nordic finished in the 15th position, completing the race in a time of 19:04.
The U16 boys 7.5 km race saw Gavin Chatterton of Strathcona Nordic, BC, take the gold with a time of 19:16. It was a tight race for silver and bronze positions between teammates Zachari Moreau (19:18) and Thierry Olivier (19:21) from Mont Sainte-Anne, PQ. Makkai Jones from Lappe Nordic was the top local finisher, securing the 12th position with a time of 20:07.
The U18/U16 girls’ race also had a significant participation with 160 athletes. Alison Mackie from Edmonton Nordic, AB, took home the gold in the U18 girls’ 7.5 km race in a time of 20:02, with a considerable lead over Sadie Demars of Kimberley Nordic, BC, who claimed silver in a time of 21:06. Sabine Comeau of Canmore Nordic, AB, finished third with a time of 21:19.
In the U16 girls’ 7.5 km race, Emelie Kvick from the Hollyburn Ski Club, BC, won the gold with a time of 21:31. Kiara Pighin of Telemark Nordic, BC, claimed the silver position in 22:04, with Aramintha Bradford from the Whitehorse Ski Club, YT, finishing closely behind her in a time of 22:05. Local athletes Min Dobson from Lappe Nordic finished strong in seventh position with a time of 22:57, and Mackenzie Thompson from Big Thunder Nordic finished 16th with a time of 23:46.
In the Open Men’s 10 km category, Leo Grandbois won the gold with an impressive time of 23:32. Sasha Masson from Whitehorse Ski Club, YT, finished closely behind with a second-place finish in 23:37 (first CCUNC men), and Max Hollmann from Big Thunder Nordic secured the third position with a time of 23:42. Erikson Moore from the National Team Development Centre Thunder Bay (NTDC) finished in fourth with a time of 24:00 (second CCUNC men).
In the Open Women’s 10 km event, Amelia Wells from Strathcona Nordic, BC, took the gold medal with a time of 27:46, making her the first CCUNC women. Sonjaa Schmidt from Whitehorse Ski Club, YT, placed second with a time of 28:04, making her the second CCUNC women. Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt from Fondeurs-Laurentides, PQ, secured third place with a time of 28:09.
In the men’s U20 10 km category, Jeremy Lantz from Monteriski, PQ, claimed the gold medal with a time of 24:55. Garrett Siever from Telemark Nordic, BC, took silver in 25:04, while Quinn O’Shea from Hollyburn Ski Club, BC, grabbed the bronze in 25:05.
Anna Stewart from Nakkertok Nordic, ON, secured the first place in the U20 women’s 10 km event with a time of 28:28. Marlie Molinaro from Revelstoke Nordic, BC, finished second in 29:01, while Elie-Anne Tremblay took third place with a time of 29:13, making her the third CCUNC women. Sarah Cullinan from Big Thunder Nordic secured fifth place with a time of 29:56, while Hannah Zavitz from Lappe Nordic finished in tenth in 30:42.
Day 2 of Nationals takes place on Sunday, March 12, and will feature a free technique (skate) sprint for U20, Senior, and Para Nordic sit skiers. The athletes will race the sprint qualifier in the morning, with the top 30 from each category moving onto the sprint heats in the afternoon. The races will start at 10 am due to the start of Daylight Savings Time early Sunday morning.
The opening ceremonies for the 2023 Nationals will begin at 11 am, and live results can be found on zone4.ca. The complete race schedule and a link to the livestream of the races can be found at www.canadianskinationals2023.ca. The Lakehead Superior Nordic Association would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the government and municipal partners and presenting sponsors, including Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, City of Thunder Bay, 91-5 CKPR and Rock 94, Secure Store, and Skiwax.ca, for their contribution to the success of the 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals.