Skiers hit the trails at Don Sumanik opener

Yukon skiers jumped into the new season with both feet over the weekend. Spots on the Yukon Ski Team were up for grabs at the first of two Don Sumanik Memorial Races at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club on Sunday.

Yukon skiers jumped into the new season with both feet over the weekend.

Spots on the Yukon Ski Team were up for grabs at the first of two Don Sumanik Memorial Races at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club on Sunday.

The free technique event, which saw 40 skiers take part, is the first of three races Cross Country Yukon will use in selecting the team for the Canada Winter Games this February, as well as other major events such as the Haywood Ski Nationals and the western championships.

“It was a good day, I was really happy the races could go on Sunday because we had to postpone from Saturday (because of cold temperatures),” said Alain Masson, head coach of the Yukon Ski Team. “I think the team has improved quite a bit over the summer and the fall. So it’s nice to see lots of good results and a lot of good performances.

“There were no huge surprises. Knute (Johnsgaard), who was expected to be the fastest, was. And Annah (Hanthorn) won easily. So this was confirmation of what we expected.”

Both Johnsgaard and Hanthorn have been pre-selected to represent Yukon at the Canada Games, said Masson. Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty and Kendra Murray, who were absent from Sunday’s race, have also been pre-selected for the team. Beatty is a member of Canada’s development national team, along with Whitehorse Olympian Emily Nishikawa.

Johnsgaard, who collected three medals at last season’s nationals, was the fastest skier on the 7.5-kilometre course on Sunday, coming in at 20 minutes and 12.6 seconds.

Junior boy skiers Marcus Deuling and Hudson Lucier were close behind at 21:12.7 and 22:22.9, respectively, for second and third overall.

Hanthorn, who is a member of Canada’s national junior team, was fastest on Sunday’s 6.25-kilometre course at 19:33.1. She was the only skier in the junior female division.

Junior girls skier Natalie Hynes was second fastest at 21:02.5, followed by juvenile girls’ Hannah Deuling at 21:32.0.

The fastest skiers on the 2.5-kilometre course were Jake Draper (9:05.1) for the boys and Sonjaa Schmidt (10:38.0) for the girls.

The classic technique Sumanik race is schedule to take place this Saturday at the Whitehorse club. The final selection event will be a NorAm circuit race in Rosland, B.C., on Dec. 13.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Midget boys (2.5 km)

1st Jake Draper – 9:05.1

2nd Nichollis Schmidt – 9:57.2

3rd Jamie Phillips-Freedman – 10:30.1

4th Torsten Petersson – 11:46.0

5th Jude Slater – 13:48.1

Midget girls (2.5 km)

1st Sonjaa Schmidt – 10:38.0

2nd Dahlia Lapointe – 11:35.4

3rd Hazel Lewis – 11:48.1

4th Mary Londero – 12:08.6

Peewee boys (2.5 km)

1st Derek Deuling – 9:23.4

2nd Sasha Masson – 9:54.5

3rd Ben Puskas – 10:27.2

4th Victor-Emile Thibeault – 11:15.6

5th Romeo Champagne – 11:22.4

6th Aidan Hupe – 13:43.0

Juvenile boys (7.5 km)

1st Michael Kishchuk – 24:53.5

2nd Liam Mather – 28:47.5

3rd Liam Adel – 28:58.1

4th Francis Reid – 30:26.4

5th Daniel Sennett – 30:44.4

Juvenile girls (6.25 km)

1st Hannah Deuling – 21:32.0

2nd Mira Mason – 21:49.1

3rd Regan Fuerstner – 22:58.5

4th Amanda Thomson – 23:08.1

5th Hannah Shier – 23:42.8

6th Savannah Cash – 23:52.5

7th Hannah Jirousek – 24:12.2

8th Dagmar Janzen – 27:12.2

Junior boys (7.5 km)

1st Marcus Deuling – 21:12.7

2nd Hudson Lucier – 22:22.9

3rd Mac Prawdzik – 22:43.4

4th Simon Cash – 22:43.8

5th Bruce Wilson – 32:55.2

Junior girls (6.25 km)

1st Natalie Hynes – 21:02.5

2nd Nadia Moser – 22:24.5

3rd Alexis Gee – 22:59.8

4th Zoe Painter – 23:13.6

5th Maria Peters – 28:30.4

Open men (7.5 km)

1st Knute Johnsgaard – 20:12.6

2nd Scott Williams – 25:04.0

3rd Chris Schmidt – 25:29.0

4th Dan Thomson – 28:51.3

5th Perry Hynes – 30:10.5

6th Jeff Lister – 30:54.9

Junior female (6.25 km)

1st Annah Hanthorn – 19:33.1

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