As the only competitor in the open women’s division, Whitehorse’s Lindsay Carson looked at the Yukon Cross Country Championships as a training run. She does, after all, have some big races coming up.
“It was a great training run. Most cross-country courses are loop courses to make them spectator friendly and because of that sometimes it can be hard on the mental psyche … so it was a good tune-up for me to get ready for upcoming cross-country races,” said Carson. “It was a four-loop race for me and I had plenty of guys to work with throughout the race. My plan was to stay strong throughout and not die and I think I definitely picked up some ground at the end.”
Carson claimed her second open women’s division at last Sunday’s territorial championship at Mount McIntyre. The 26-year-old was fastest overall on the eight-kilometre course (beating three in the men’s 35-55 division) with a time of 29 minutes and 30 seconds.
Carson will next compete at the B.C. championships in October and the nationals in November, this year the qualifier for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She has twice raced for Team Canada at the biennial worlds, placing 59th at the 2014 championships in Guiyang, China.
Whitehorse’s Brendan Morphet, 34, enjoyed his first Yukon championship. Well, some of it he did.
“I knew there was Telemark Hill and I was told it’s like a hill workout and it was,” said Morphet. “The first two laps were nice and in the last two I hated it.”
Morphet took first in the open men’s division, finishing the 10-kilometre course in 37:30, over 10 minutes ahead of second place’s Patrice Zutcher.
Morphet put the time in and produced great results this past summer. He won the half-distance event at the Yukon River Trail Marathon in August and was the top male finisher at the Yukon 10-Kilometre Road Race Championships later in the month.
“It’s been a good year for me. I put a lot of time in training, I wanted to come into the season and see how I do, and I think I’ve shown myself I can compete with some of the best here,” said Morphet. “(Defending XC champ David Eikelboom) wasn’t here today, so yay.”
Dawson City’s Jack Amos made the long drive down to Whitehorse worth it. The 15-year-old outpaced three others to win the males 15-17 division, complete six-kilometres in 21:59. Special Olympian world championship medalist Darby McIntyre took second (23:33) and Joe Parker third (29:34).
“It was really good. The hill (Telemark Hill) was rough. I wasn’t running as fast as I would have liked to. I had a comfortable pace going but I could have gone a pretty long distance, so I was happy with that,” said Amos.
Amos won three medals in snowshoeing at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Greenland, placed first overall at the 39th annual Midnight Dome Race in his hometown in July, and also pocketed three medals at the Jack Brow Memorial Track and Field Meet this past summer in Kelowna, B.C.
“It’s been a pretty good year,” said Amos. “I’ve had a blast.”
He’s not done yet. Amos and Carson, and a few other Yukoners, will compete at the B.C. cross-country championships this October in Nanaimo.
“At the other races I was the lone Yukoner, so it’ll be nice to have a team behind me and hopefully share some of my senior experience with the junior athletes,” said Carson.
Other division winners last Sunday include: Samual Tatsumi in males age six; Micah McConnell in males age seven: Minty Bradford in females age eight; Finn Bradford in males age eight: Kyan Morrison in males age 9; Lisa Freeman in females age 12; Nathan Sutton in males age 12; Kate Crocker in females age 14; Hannah Shier in females 15-17; Laura Salmon in females 35-55; Dominic Bradford in males 35-55; Donna Jones in females 55-65; Tom Ullyett in males 55-65; and Don White in males over 65.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org