Local skiers hold own on home turf

Even after celebrating her 16th birthday recently, Whitehorse's Dahria Beatty is one of the youngest skiers in the junior female category at this week's Haywood Cross-Country Ski Nationals in Whitehorse. But don't tell that to her competition, it might be too depressing for them.

Even after celebrating her 16th birthday recently, Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty is one of the youngest skiers in the junior female category at this week’s Haywood Cross-Country Ski Nationals in Whitehorse.

But don’t tell that to her competition, it might be too depressing for them.

Beatty and other Yukoners have been registering strong results since the meet – which features about 400 of Canada’s top skiers – began on Sunday.

Partnered with teammate Janelle Greer, Beatty helped win gold in the challenge girls’ (born in 1992 or younger) junior female category for the team sprint event on Sunday, up four spots from teammates Heidi Brooke and Kendra Murray in fifth. Beatty then followed up Sunday’s golden performance with a second place finish in Tuesday’s junior female five-kilometre classic, just 1.7 seconds out of first and less than three seconds up from Greer, who took third.

“I just pushed really hard from the start and I felt like I had a pretty good race,” said Beatty. “I took it a little easy on the downhills to make sure I stayed on my feet, but skied really hard on the uphills. Conditions were really slow, so it was a lot of work.

“The top three girls were all within three or four seconds so it was a very close race.”

In Wednesday’s 10-kilometre free technique race, Beatty finished fifth, up 12 spots from the next top junior female Yukoner, Brooke in 17th.

“I tried to not start too hard and not have anything left at the end. So I had a really strong finish. I was able to pick up the pace and go faster for the last kilometre.

“I caught up to a girl in open women (division) that passed me earlier, so that was good.”

Whitehorse’s Knute Johnsgaard has been another local skier seeing strong results. Partnered with Jeff Wood in the junior male’s team sprint event on Sunday, the two battled back from fifth to take gold.

“I’ve raced on the course before and I know the trails really well,” said Johnsgaard. “So I know what to expect. I know when to push hard and when to pace myself.”

Johnsgaard continued to produce in the following races, taking sixth in Tuesday’s 10-kilometre classic and fourth in Wednesday’s 15-kilometre free, winning the 1992 age section of the junior male division.

“It was an excellent race for me,” said Johnsgaard. “I like any distance race, anything over 10-kilometre is good for me.

“It was a pretty hard course but I had really good skis and it just turned out good. The conditions were a little bit tough, there was a little bit of fresh snow, but we had fast skies.”

After a disappointing 41st-place finish in Tuesday’s 10-kilometre in the open male division, Whitehorse’s Colin Abbott bounced back for a 13th overall finish in the 15-kilometre free event Wednesday, placing him third in the Canadian College and University Nordic Championships (CCUNC) category.

“It’s sort of a race within a race; they pick out the skiers at university and give them medals accordingly,” said the Carleton University student. “It gives you a little more incentive to keep skiing.

“I didn’t have a very good start to this race series; I had one of my worst races this year, so I was hoping for some redemption today. My body let me down yesterday. I wasn’t sick, per se, there wasn’t anything glaringly wrong, I just didn’t have the kick I needed.

“I picked it up today and finished more where I wanted to be.”

Yukon’s David Greer, partnered with teammate Ray Sabo, was fourth in the open male division in Sunday’s sprints, was 14th in Tuesday’s 10-kilometre classic and 13th in Wednesday’s 150-kilometre free event. Open female division skier Emily Nishikawa came seventh on Tuesday and ninth on Wednesday.

Murray finished in the junior female, 1993-age category on Tuesday and 30th overall on Wednesday in the 10-kilometre free technique race.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read