Neither were the fastest both days, but they were speedy enough over both races to win Sumanik trophies.
Whitehorse skiers Colin Abbott and Amanda Thomson claimed Sumanik Cup wins, which go to the fastest male and female on the open course over two days of racing, following the completion of the Don Sumanik Memorial Races at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club on Jan. 29.
Abbott, who won the Cup for males last year and in 2007, had the fastest time on the 7.5-kilometre course in the free technique race on Dec. 3.
The 26-year-old was second fastest on the same length course for the classic technique race last weekend but had the fastest combined time from the two days.
He is the first male to win the trophy in back to back years since Whitehorse’s David Greer in 2005 and 2006.
“It’s always a good test and always nice to see how many people come out for this event. It’s been a staple of my yearly racing plans since I was a little kid and it’s nice to keep that going,” said Abbott.
Yukon Ski Team’s Caelan McLean, a junior level skier, had the fastest time on Saturday at 25:13.3. McLean, who won the Cup in 2013, missed the Dec. 3 race due to sickness.
Abbott finished Saturday’s 7.5-kilometre course in 25:29.9 for the second fastest time on the day.
“The December race, I definitely felt fitter for,” said Abbott. “I was a little more fatigued today and the conditions — it felt like it was a little more work to move fast today. Stickier snow and more variable — a little softer. It was still a good effort today and I’m happy with how it went.”
Thomson, a junior level skier on the Yukon Ski Team, nabbed her first Sumanik Cup.
She was the fastest female on the open course with a time of 29:20.3 on Saturday. The 16-year-old was second fastest behind Whitehorse’s Marit Rjabov in the Dec. 3 free race. Rjabov was fourth fastest for females last weekend.
“It feels pretty good. It’s quite the honour,” said Thomson of winning the trophy.
“Today’s race — I prefer classic skiing and the last race (on Dec. 3) was just so cold and there were slow conditions. This race, everything lined up a bit better.”
Thomson also won the award as fastest junior female skier on Saturday. Yukon teammate Derek Deuling got the corresponding trophy for junior male skiers.
Thomson will next race at the Eastern Canadian Cross Country Championships next week in Quebec with hopes of securing a spot on the team heading to the Haywood Ski Nationals in March.
As for winning the Sumanik Cup, she likes the idea of having her name engraved on the same trophy as Olympians Emily Nishikawa, Lucy Steele and Becky Scott,
“That’s pretty cool,” she said.
The Don Sumanik races are named for the man who was instrumental in the creation of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club’s chalet and bringing a FIS World Cup event to Whitehorse in March of 1981. He died in December of 1981, the year before the start of the Sumanik races.
“I’m doing a little more coaching than racing this year,” said Abbott. “That’s part of what’s so enjoyable about this is: some of the guys racing the longer race today I see every week for coaching. It’s a lot of fun to see them racing and enjoying it. I’m doing what I can to get them faster.”
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com
Atom boys (1 km)
1st Nicholas Connell — 6:15.1
2nd Finegand Bradford — 7:06.4
3rd Finnegan Hanley — 7:42.8
Atom girls (1 km)
1st Aramintha Bradford — 7:44.1
2nd Juliet Crowe — 7:55.3
3rd Emily Kralisch-Seguin — 12:01.7
Peewee boys (2 km)
1st Felix Masson — 6:57.1
2nd Simon Connell — 6:59.6
3rd Louis Mouchet — 7:26.8
Peewee girls (2 km)
1st Constance Lapointe — 7:27.0
2nd Abigail Jirousek — 7:46.5
3rd Lucy Baxter — 8:28.6
Midget boys (5 km)
1st Curtis Cash — 18:22.5
2nd Noah Connell — 21:00.0
3rd Isidore Champagne — 21:11.2
Midget girls (5 km)
1st Bella Mouchet — 22:31.0
2nd Emily Robbins — 22:52.9
3rd Isla Hupe — 23:23.0
Juvenile boys (7.5 km)
1st Derek Deuling — 26:48.2
2nd Sasha Masson — 27:54.8
3rd Nichollis Schmidt — 29:25.7
Juvenile girls (7.5 km)
1st Sonjaa Schmidt — 31:10.0
2nd Dahlia Lapointe — 35:11.4
3rd Mary Londero — 39:11.9
Junior boys (7.5 km)
1st Jake Draper — 29:44.8
Junior girls (7.5 km)
1st Amanda Thomson — 29:20.3
2nd Hannah Deuling — 30:28.6
3rd Hannah Jirousek — 31:14.1
Junior male (7.5 km)
1st Caelan McLean — 25:13.3
Open men (7.5 km)
1st Colin Abbott — 25:29.9
Open women (7.5 km)
1st Marit Rjabov — 32:35.5
Master men (15 km)
1st Dominic Bradford — 48:23.4
2nd Brian Healy — 49:26.9
3rd Simon Lapointe — 50:14.5