Dahria Beatty and Knute Johnsgaard are fast on snow or slush.
The two Whitehorse cross-country skiers sped through slush to medals at the Scandinavian Cup in Priekuli, Latvia, over the weekend.
“The snow is more like slush mixed with ice,” said Johnsgaard in an email to the News. “Since I’m used to skiing in such perfect conditions in Whitehorse, I’m still getting used to the challenging conditions. Apparently I’m getting better now though.”
Better indeed. Johnsgaard won silver in the 10-kilometre skate on Sunday and bronze in the 10-kilometre classic on Saturday.
Beatty skied to gold in the women’s five-kilometre classic on Sunday for her first open-women’s victory of her career.
The Scandinavian Cup, which is the equivalent to Canada’s Haywood NorAm Series, is nicknamed the “B Tour” with the Olympics considered the “A Tour.”
Because of a lack of snow, the weekend’s races in Priekuli were held on a man-made 2.5-kilometre loop.
The two Whitehorse skiers are currently in Madona, Latvia, for more races and will travel to Otepaa, Estonia, this weekend.
Beatty skied to 25th in a sprint on Wednesday and 29th in the 10-kilometre free on Thursday.
“The races in Latvia last week were preparation races for the more important/competitive races (Wednesday and Thursday) and on the weekend,” said Johnsgaard.
“Unfortunately I picked up a cold yesterday so I’m sitting out today’s race. Hopefully I can recover in time to race this weekend in Otepaa. There is a classic sprint and a 20-km classic mass start.”
Beatty and Johnsgaard qualified for the Scandinavian Cup with strong performances at the U23 and World Junior Championships events in Val di Fiemme, Italy, early this month.
Beatty, 19, placed 15th and was the top Canadian in the five-kilometre classic at the junior worlds.
Johnsgaard, 21, who was in the under-23 men’s division, skied to 21st in the 15-kilometre classic for his best result in Val di Fiemme.
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