Derek Deuling, seen here racing in the Don Sumanik Memorial Race on Dec. 9, was the fastest male skier at the Yukon Championships. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Perfect snow and weather conditions for Yukon Championships

‘These next few days, we will be in our glory’

The Grey Mountain Lions Club Race Series concluded with the Yukon Championships at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club on March 3.

Skiing in 13 different categories, 82 skiers took part in the mass start free technique races. A further seven skiers were registered but did not start their races.

Kyle Janzen, chief of competition, said the conditions were ideal for the race.

“It worked out just fine,” said Janzen. “Snow conditions, perfect. People were saying they haven’t seen snow conditions that good in a long time.”

Temperatures stayed warmer than the cutoff point and winds stayed light.

The first race of the day was the atom boys and atom girls one kilometre mass start.

Ten skiers — five boys and five girls — skied a loop of the stadium and Niamh Hupe was the fastest atom girl, crossing the line in three minutes and 17.3 seconds.

Kieran Horton was the fastest atom boy with a time of three minutes and 21.1 seconds.

The next race was a 2.5-kilometre mass start race for pee-wee girls and boys.

These were the two biggest categories on the day. Nineteen boys and 15 girls took part in the race.

Felix Masson was the fastest boy with a time of eight minutes and 57.2 seconds and Sophie Molgat was the fastest girl with a time of 11 minutes and 13.2 seconds.

In the midget boys and girls 3.75-kilometre race, Noah Connell won with a time of 13 minutes and 50 seconds.

Kate Mason won the girls category with a time of 14 minutes and 19.2 seconds.

Connell and Mason were awarded the Schiffkorn trophy as the fastest male and female under the age of 14 respectively.

The last race of the day was a 7.5-kilometre race for open, junior, juvenile and masters skiers.

A total of 24 skiers started the race that began with racers negotiating the tunnel out of the stadium almost immediately after starting — something Janzen said was exciting to watch.

“You had these really high-level, fast skiers all just blast off into the tunnel,” said Janzen. “It was really quite something to see them go because the front of the pack was super competitive trying to get their position through the tunnel so they could get up that hill. … The snow was literally flying.”

Derek Deuling, skiing in the juvenile boys category, was the fastest skier on the day with a time of 23 minutes and 1.2 seconds

Deuling finished just three-tenths of a second ahead of David Greer, racing in the open men’s category.

Juvenile girl Sonjaa Schimdt was the fastest female with a time of 29:05.5.

Deuling and Schmidt won the Taylor trophy as the fastest male and female.

Other category winners included Nichollis Schmidt in junior boys, Hannah Jirousek in junior girls, Brian Horton in masters men and Meagan Wilson in masters women.

This was the last race in the Grey Mountain Lions Race Series, but with conditions as they are, the season is far from over.

“These next few days, we will be in our glory. I can hardly wait,” said Janzen. “I’m just chomping to get out. The recent snowfall mixed with the temperatures and the blue sky just makes for a lot of really happy people.”

Still to come this season for Yukon skiers is the Buckwheat Ski Classic on March 24.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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