If the Don Sumanik Memorial Races are any indication, Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty is set to have another fantastic season.
For the second year in a row, Beatty was fastest in both races for the longer distances; her combined times earning her the Don Sumanik Memorial Trophy.
“They went quite well. I felt strong in both races,” said the 17-year-old. “I had lots of energy, so it was a good start to the season.
“Both races were fairly consistent; I was able to race hard both days.”
Competing in the junior girls division, Beatty won Saturday’s five-kilometre classic mass start race, finishing a minute, 32.9 seconds ahead of Katie Peters and 3:07.6 in front of Adrienne Hynes. She then won Sunday’s five-kilometre free technique race, outpacing Peters by two minutes and third place’s Holly Bull by 2:15. Both races were held at the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club.
“I thought of it as an individual race,” said Beatty of Saturday’s event. “I pushed the entire time, so it was good training for races when I go down south.”
Taking in his first Sumanik Trophy was Whitehorse’s John Parry in the open male division. Parry, 23, won Sunday’s 7.5-kilometre free technique race, coming in 19.1 seconds ahead of Ray Sabo and 3:54.5 before third place’s Jonah Clark.
“I’m happy to have won the overall, but it’s still really early in the season and we’re still in the training portion of the season,” said Parry. “So the races were used more as a training device.
“And David Greer didn’t do the second day … I guess it wasn’t in his training plan.”
Saturday’s five-kilometre race saw some very tight finishes in the open men’s division. Greer took the win just 3.8 seconds in front of Parry and 4.4 seconds ahead of Sabo.
“David attacked about halfway through the race and I reacted to that,” said Parry. “He opened up about a four- or five-second lead and pretty much kept that lead the whole second half of the race and I wasn’t able to close the gap.
“Ray and I were trying to track David down, but were unsuccessful.”
Other winners on Saturday include Simon Cash in midget boys and Natalie Hynes in midget girls, winning by just 0.5 in front of Hannah Shier. Winning the junior boys races on both days was last year’s Sumanik Trophy winner Fabian Brook.
Winning in juvenile were Caelan McLean for the boys while Pia Blake won for the girls in another close finish, just nine seconds up from Cambria Fuerstner. Lois Johnston, alone in open female, took first. (No skiers entered the open women’s division on Sunday.)
Only the midget divisions saw new winners on Sunday. Taking first in the 3.75-kilometre free for the girls was Alexis Gee, beating Hynes by just 0.3 seconds and Shier by 2.1. For the boys Ian Hogeboom-Burr, who finished second Saturday, won by 1:15.5 over Cash.
Parry, who was named National/Territorial Male Athlete of the Year at the Sport Yukon Awards Night on Thursday, will be travelling with a handful of other Whitehorse skiers to Canmore to race in an Alberta Cup event this weekend in preparation for the NorAm circuit.
“It will be fast conditions and great preparation to see what we’re up against,” said Parry.
Beatty, a member of the Canadian National Junior Team, had an outstanding season last winter. She took a 25th-place finish in a race at the Junior Cross Country Ski Championships in Hinterzarten, Germany, in January, before winning three medals at the 2011 Haywood Ski Nationals in Canmore, Alberta, in March.
“I’m feeling good about (this season),” said Beatty. “I’m excited to start the Outside races. I’ve had a good training season, so I felt good most of the fall.”
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