Relay teams take fourth to end Games

The final ski events for the Games, Yukon’s men’s and women’s relay teams were outpaced by the competition – Alberta, Quebec and BC in both cases – to finish fourth at Ski Martock in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA

The Yukon was edged off of the podium in consecutive cross-country ski races at the Canada Winter Games on Saturday.

The final ski events for the Games, Yukon’s men’s and women’s relay teams were outpaced by the competition – Alberta, Quebec and BC in both cases – to finish fourth at Ski Martock in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

“We’re super happy. The girls all skied well,” said Yukon’s Emily Nishikawa, who skied the last leg in the women’s 4×3.75-kilometre. “I had a good race, but the other teams all did really well too, so it wasn’t enough to get on the podium. But I think we should all be proud of how we skied.”

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Had Yukon’s relay team, which also included Kendra Murray, Janelle Greer and Dahria Beatty, been 38 seconds faster, it might have meant a fourth medal for Nishikawa, who won a gold, bronze and silver in the individual events last week.

“It was a great week. I think we had some really great results as a team and I had tons of fun – the Canada Games is always a good time,” said the three-time participant. “It was a good week for everyone; I think we’re all pretty happy.”

Nishikawa and Greer were both on a bronze winning relay team at the 2007 Games in Whitehorse, one of three medals won in cross-country during those Games.

Like Yukon’s women skiers, the men’s relay team – David Greer, John Parry, Colin Abbott and Ray Sabo – was beset by illness during their 4×5-kilometre relay.

“We were hoping to get a medal, but four out of five guys on our team are sick,” said David, the only Yukoner to win a gold in 2007. “It wasn’t a really good week for any of the men skiers. If we were healthy, we definitely would have been in there for the medals.”

With Nishikawa’s three medals, Team Yukon finished with five in total, outdoing Newfoundland and Labrador, which also scored five – but with four bronze and a silver – and NWT and Nunavut, both of which failed to collect hardware.

The five medals represent the best finish at the Winter Games since the 1995 Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta. The Yukon’s best performance, medal wise, was at the 1991 Games in PEI, winning 17 medals including four gold.

Yukon’s first medals, two golds won in Week One, came in target shooting. Pelly Crossing’s Danielle Marcotte won a gold in the women’s individual air pistol, breaking three Canada Games records with her scores. A couple days earlier Marcotte and her younger sister Kyley, won gold in the women’s team air pistol event.

For more coverage of Team Yukon’s cross-country skiers at the Canada Games, see Wednesday’s Yukon News.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com