Thunder Bay – SPORTS – The 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals, University (CCUNC), and Para Nordic Championships have kicked off at the Lappe Ski Centre, and local athletes from Lappe Nordic, Big Thunder Nordic, Lakehead University Varsity Ski Team (LU), and the National Team Development Centre (NTDC) are already making waves on the national stage.
In the Para Nordic Sit Men’s 1.1 km sprint, Yves Bourque from Mauriski, PQ, snatched the gold medal, while Konan Blaise Koko from Kivi-Nordic, ON, settled for silver.
Meanwhile, in the Open Men’s 1.3 km sprint, Leo Grandbois from Orford, PQ, beat Julien Locke from Black Jack, BC, for the gold medal, with Sasha Masson from the Whitehorse Ski Club, YT, taking bronze. NTDC/LU skier Erikson Moore from Fondeurs-Laurentides, PQ, came in fourth, while Big Thunder Nordic teammates Erik Schlyter (LU) and Nicholas Randall (NTDC) claimed 6th and 10th positions, respectively. NTDC skier Julian Smith from Georgian Bay Nordic, ON, showed true grit by crossing the finish line on one ski after a binding broke on course but still managed to finish 12th. NTDC skier Max Mahaffy from Walden Cross Country, ON, finished in 17th, and Big Thunder Nordic skier Tobias Quinn came in 20th.
In the Women’s Open 1.3 km sprint, Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt from Fondeurs-Laurentides, PQ, emerged victorious, followed by Anna Stewart from Nakkertok Nordic (ON) in second place and Katie Weaver from the Hollyburn Ski Club, BC, in third. Hannah Shields of Lappe Nordic finished in 18th.
In the U20 Men’s 1.3 km sprint, Remi Boilard from Skibec, PC, took home the gold, while Noah Weir Chaba from Canmore Nordic, AB, narrowly secured silver, beating Ian Mayer from Telemark Nordic, BC, at the finish line. Patrick Wiss from Walden Cross Country/LU finished in sixth, and Big Thunder Nordic/LU skier Luke Pollex gave a stellar performance, finishing in 10th.
In the U20 Women’s 1.3 km sprint, Maude Molgat from the Whitehorse Ski Club, YT, claimed the top spot, with Kate Mason from Nakkertok Nordic, ON, securing silver and Tabitha Williams from Canmore Nordic, AB, taking home bronze after a tight race.
Today’s races on Monday, March 13, include a free technique (skate) sprint for U16, U18, and Para Nordic standing athletes, followed by a U12/U14 exhibition race. All athletes will race the sprint qualifier in the morning, with the top 30 from each category moving onto the sprint heats in the afternoon. Visit zone4.ca for athlete start times and live results, and check out the livestream of the races and the complete race schedule at www.canadianskinationals2023.ca.
The Lakehead Superior Nordic Association would like to give a shout-out to the government and municipal partners and presenting sponsors who have contributed to the success of the 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals, including the 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.