A pair of Whitehorse junior skiers were the fastest on the trails Saturday.
Annah Hanthorn and Caelan McLean produced the fastest times for female and male on the long course to win the Gordon Taylor Trophy at the Yukon Cross Country Ski Championships at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club.
They won the trophy in very different circumstances. Hanthorn, who is a member of the junior national team, finished the 10-kilometre skate race almost four minutes ahead of the second fastest woman on the course.
RELATED:See full results here.
McLean, who is junior boy, outpaced second place’s Marcus Deuling by just 0.3 seconds.
“It was a fun Yukon championships,” said McLean. “It was really close between Marcus and I – it could have gone either way.”
McLean, 17, completed the 10 kilometres in 35:10.7 with Deuling hot on his heels. Third place’s Mac Prawdzik, who was also in the junior male group with McLean and Deuling, was third at 35:26.7. Yukon Ski Team head coach and three-time Olympian Alain Masson, racing in Masters 3 Men, was fourth with a time of 35:40.2.
“We were basically skiing together the whole race – and Mac,” said McLean. “With about a half kilometre or so left, I started to sprint and pulled away, but he caught me and was right behind me all the way to the finish. It was pretty close.”
Hanthorn, who won a gold and bronze at the Canada Winter Games two weeks ago in Prince George, B.C., finished in 39:03.9. Julie McVicar, also racing in open women, was second fastest for females, at 42:50.7. Olympian Lucy Steele-Masson, racing in Masters 2 Women, was third with a time of 42:51.9.
Hanthorn won the trophy last year as well.
“It was good overall, it was a really tough course,” said Hanthorn. “I was focusing on the process and my technique and how to ski efficiently. I felt pretty good, made sure I was relaxed and pushed hard at the end.”
“It probably wasn’t my best 10K, but it was a good training experience,” added the 20-year-old.
Both McLean and Hanthorn, as well as a bunch of other Yukon skiers, will represent Yukon at the Haywood Ski Nationals this month in Thunder Bay, Ont.
They weren’t the only youngsters to hoist a cup Saturday.
Sasha Masson and Dahlia Lapointe were given the Schiffkorn Trophy for the fastest times on the five-kilometre midget course. Masson finished in 16:00.3 – just 0.5 ahead of Derek Deuling – and Lapointe came in at 18:21.1.
Biathlete Nadia Moser, who captured three medals at the Canada Games in Prince George, was the top junior girls finisher, finishing the five-kilometres in 15:08.4. Simon Cash topped the junior boys with a time of 14:31.3.
Sam Mather and Kate Mason won the boys and girls peewee divisions, completing the 2.5-kilometre course in 8:36.8 and 9:54.8, respectively.
Nicolas Giangrande was fastest on the one-kilometre atom boys course at 4:11.0 and Cheyenne Tirschmann in the atom girls at 4:09.3.
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