Nishikawa with two Canadian titles at ski nationals

Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa is one busy skier these days.

Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa is one busy skier these days. The 27-year-old is finishing her season with back-to-back championships, and she has plenty to show for her efforts.

The 27-year-old is finishing her season with back-to-back championships, and she has plenty to show for her efforts.

In addition to two top-40 finishes at the FIS World Cup Finals last week in Quebec City, the national team skier has two Canadian titles so far at the 2017 Haywood Ski Nationals in Canmore, Alta.

Nishikawa won gold in the 10-kilometre interval start classic on March 21 and then gold in the open women’s sprint the next day.

“It was another great day. The conditions got slower and slower as the day went on. I really was just trying not to get tripped up in the deep snow, but I’m so honoured and thrilled to win,” said Nishikawa in a Cross Country Canada media release.

“I am so excited and so exhausted. This is my fifth race in six days. It has been a lot, but I couldn’t be happier. There has been so many highlights of the season, and to finish it here in Canmore with two national titles is pretty exciting.”

Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty also has a medal so far the nationals that will finish with long-distance races on March 25.

The 22-year-old was one spot behind Nishikawa in the sprint, taking silver. She did not race the 10-kilometre classic.

Fellow Whitehorse skier Knute Johnsgaard also claimed hardware in the sprints. Johnsgaard placed fifth over all in the open men’s race, taking bronze as the third place Canadian. Yukon Ski Team’s Colin Abbott placed sixth among Canadian skiers in the race.

Nishikawa isn’t the only gold-winning Yukoner — or gold-winning Nishikawa — so far this week. Older brother Graham placed second overall, first for Canadians, for gold in the open men’s 10-kilometre classic on March 19.

The Yukon ski team has logged plenty of top-10 results so far. On March 19 Marcus Deuling placed sixth in the junior men 10-kilometre classic, Natalie Hynes ninth in the junior women five-kilometre classic, and Derek Deuling 10th in the juvenile boy five-kilometre classic.

On March 21 Hannah Deuling took fourth in the 10-kilometre classic in junior girls; Graham Nishikawa was the fourth Canadian in the 15-kilometre classic in open men; Caelan Mclean placed sixth in the 15-kilometre classic in junior men; Derek Deuling ninth in the 7.5-kilometre classic in juvenile boys.

Emily, Beatty and Johnsgaard all produced top-50 finishes at the FIS World Cup Finals last week in Quebec City.

Emily placed 38th as the top Canadian in the women’s 10-kilometre free on March 19. She also took 37th in the 10-kilometre classic.

Beatty placed 41st in the women’s sprint and Johnsgaard 41st in the men’s sprint on March 17 for their best finishes.

All three also competed at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships a few weeks ago in Lahti, Finland.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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