Revelstoke Nordic skiers off to strong start to race season

Revelstoke Nordic skiers put their months of dryland training to the test with back-to-back NorAm race weekends in Canmore and Vernon.

Beth Granstrom takes off from the start of the NorAm skate-ski race in Vernon last weekend.

Beth Granstrom takes off from the start of the NorAm skate-ski race in Vernon last weekend.

By Matt Smider, Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club

Revelstoke Nordic skiers put their months of dryland training to the test with back-to-back NorAm race weekends in Canmore, Alberta, from December 5–8, and Vernon, from December 12–13.

The NorAm race circuit is Canada’s highest level of domestic racing, with all top Canadian and several American skiers competing in the six-event series.

Additionally, two of the five events held over the past month were qualifying races for the Youth Olympic Games. Canada is awarded one male and one female spot at the Youth Olympic Games, eligible for skiers aged 15-17. Four 15-year-old Revelstoke skiers trialled in these events.

The Canmore weekend NorAms were held in conjunction with the first Alberta Cup event of the season. More than 500 racers competed in the weekend races, including 10 from Revelstoke. Due to low early season snow pack, races were held on the biathlon race courses, offering skiers an alternative to well-known cross country courses.

Racing kicked off with an interval start classic race. Favourable waxing conditions meant that skiers were not burdened with poor grip. Top results from the Revelstoke crew included:

— Beth Granstrom, 2nd – 2000 Girls 5K

— Alana Brittin, 3rd – 2000 Girls 5K

— Kolibri Drobish, 3rd – 2002 Girls 2.5K

— Jaclyn Elliott, 3rd – 2003 Girls 2.5K

— Simon Blackie, 5th – 2001 Boys 5K

— Kate Granstrom, 8th – 2000 Girls 5K

— Elizabeth Elliott, 9th – 2000 Girls 5K

— Miika Park, 10th – 2001 Girls 5K

On Sunday, skiers raced an exciting mass start skate race with large fields in each category. Once again, Revelstoke skiers performed well:

— Beth Granstrom, 3rd – 2000 Girls 6K

— Jaclyn Elliott, 3rd – 2003 Girls 4K

— Simon Blackie, 5th – 2001 Boys 6K

— Elizabeth Elliott, 6th – 2000 Girls 6K

— Kolibri Drobish, 7th – 2002 Girls 4K

— Kate Granstrom, 8th – 2000 Girls 6K

— Erik Brosch, 8th – 2001 Boys 6K

— Alana Brittin, 10th – 2000 Girls 10K

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the NorAm and Youth Olympic Games Trials Classic Sprint were held at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Our four 15 year old girls competed against the nation’s top skiers aged 15-17 and displayed their grit on a gruelling 1.4 kilometre course. Waxing conditions were difficult; temperatures were hovering around 0 C, with a mix of snow and rain falling from the sky. After a qualifier, quarters, semis and finals, the girls finished as follows:

— Alana Brittin, 4th – YOG Girls 1.4K

— Elizabeth Elliott, 5th – YOG Girls 1.4K

— Beth Granstrom, 11th – YOG Girls 1.4K

— Kate Granstrom, 24th – YOG Girls 1.4K

The following Saturday and Sunday saw skiers compete in two skate technique events at Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club, near Vernon. These events saw an equally heightened level of competition as NorAm races. Saturday’s skate sprints were held for skiers aged 14 and older. After a qualifier and ensuing elimination heats, our races battled to some superb results:

— Elizabeth Elliott, 1st – 2000 Girls 1.1K

— Simon Blackie, 4th – 2001 Boys 1.1K

— Beth Granstrom, 5th – 2000 Girls 1.1K

— Alana Brittin, 7th – 2000 Girls 1.1K

— Kate Granstrom, 9th – 2000 Girls 1.1K

— Erik Brosch – 10th – 2000 Boys 1.1K

Sunday’s event once again doubled as a Youth Olympic Games trials for the 15–17 year olds, with Revelstoke’s four 15-year-old girls on course. Younger categories were offered from age 12 and older for the interval start skate race. Top Revelstoke results included:

— Kolibri Drobish, 5th – 2002 Girls 2.5K

— Simon Blackie, 6th – 2001 Boys 5K

— Erik Brosch, 7th – 2001 Boys 5K

— Beth Granstrom, 8th – YOG Girls 5K

— Kate Granstrom, 18th – YOG Girls 5K

— Elizabeth Elliott, 24th – YOG Girls 5K

— Alana Brittin, 29th – YOG Girls 5K

Revelstoke skiers will enjoy a break in competition through the holiday season until they stride back into form on home turf. Revelstoke Nordic hosts the Okanagan Cup and BC Winter Games Trials on January 2nd.

 

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