National, international triumphs earn Yukon skier recognition

Don't be surprised if someday you find yourself skiing on the Dahria Beatty Trail in Whitehorse.

Don’t be surprised if someday you find yourself skiing on the Dahria Beatty Trail in Whitehorse.

The 16-year-old Beatty, who is a member of national junior team, was recently given the Monique Waterreus Award, presented at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club annual general meeting.

“I wasn’t really thinking about it, so it was a nice surprise when I found out,” said Beatty. “It is an honour to get the award, so I was really happy and grateful.”

The award, which is named after one of the first local skiers to make a national team, who now has a Whitehorse ski trail named after her, is a direct result of Beatty’s stellar performances last season at national and international level competitions.

At the Junior World Cross-Country Championships in Hinterzarten, Germany in February, Beatty finished 25th in the five-kilometre classic and later finished her leg eighth in a 10-kilometre relay, before the team slipped to 14th.

Fifteen at the time, Beatty was the youngest skier in the 81-skier junior women division, while still technically qualifying for the juvenile division.

The following month at the Haywood Nationals, held in Whitehorse, Beatty won a gold, a silver and two bronze medals. Although still eligible for the juvenile girls division there too, Beatty raced in the junior category and was the overall, aggregate champion.

“They both stand out,” said Beatty. “The World Juniors was more of a new experience for me. It was the first time I ever raced outside of North America so it was very exciting and a huge learning experience.

“The nationals were also very exciting because it was in our hometown and we were able to compete on our home trails.”

Before the Haywoods, at the Western Canadian Championships, Beatty skied to two gold medals and earlier qualified for Junior Worlds at Val Cartier, Quebec, in the NorAm Canada Cup, producing two fourth-place finishes.

Last December, Beatty competed in her first set of NorAm Canada Cup Race Series, held at Sovereign Lakes, BC, where she took bronze in her first-ever 10-kilometre race and then won gold in the 1.1-kilometre sprint.

Besides playing high school volleyball and basketball for the FH Collins Warriors, Beatty is also a national level orienteerer. At last year’s Canadian Orienteering Championships in Ottawa, Beatty won gold in the women’s 17-20 sprint and came fourth in the middle distance event. The previous year she won two gold medals.

Beatty, who was named Sport Yukon’s national/territorial Female Athlete of the Year last year, is joined on the national junior team by two other Yukoners, Knute Johnsgaard and Janelle Greer, who was last year’s recipient of the Waterreus award.

“The national junior team is only 14 kids, and three of them are from Whitehorse, accounting for almost a quarter of the team and here we’re half a per cent of the population of the country,” said Claude Chabot, executive director of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club. “So we’re doing pretty good here, huh?

“There must be something in the water.”

Beatty, and five other Team Yukon skiers, recently returned from a training camp in Austria where they were setting down early preparations for the Canada Winter Games this February in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Contact Tom Patrick at