Skiers off to great start at junior worlds

Just two days in and Whitehorse skiers have career-best finishes at a world championship.

Just two days in and Whitehorse skiers have career-best finishes at a world championship.

Dahria Beatty and Knute Johnsgaard took 20th and 21st finishes, respectively, at the FIS Nordic Junior and Under 23 World Ski Championships this week in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Beatty, who is in her final year of eligibility for the junior worlds, claimed 20th in the junior women 1.2-kilometre sprint on Wednesday.

“My qualifier was pretty good but I would have liked to ski the climbs better,” said Beatty, 19, in an email to the News. “I finished fourth in my heat and was very happy with how I skied the second half of the course. I would have like to stay closer to the front for the first half but unfortunately that didn’t happen for me yesterday. It was a great experience to race the heats at this level and I managed to move up seven places from my qualifier to finish in 20th place.”

Beatty’s 20th-place finish is her best finish in three junior worlds. She produced 23rd and 25th place finishes at the 2012 junior worlds and 25th place finish at just 15 years old in 2010.

Johnsgaard took 42nd and was the second Canadian in the under-23 men’s 1.5-kilometre sprint on Wednesday. He then improved to 21st in the 15-kilometre classic on Thursday.

“I am pretty satisfied with my results so far,” said Johnsgaard in an email. “I was 42nd in the sprint, which was just OK. I had a much better race today in the 15-kilometre classic where I came 21st.

“I’m looking forward to another good result in the 30-km pursuit.”

Johnsgaard, 21, competed at the junior worlds two years ago in Turkey but was hampered by illness, placing 49th for his best finish.

Beatty, who is a member of Canada’s junior national team, will next race in the 10-kilometre skiathlon before finishing the worlds with the five-kilometre classic on Sunday.

“I am looking forward to the distance races and hoping to improve on yesterday’s performance,” said Beatty. “I am most excited about the five-kilometre classic race on Sunday and it is my favourite discipline and also I think it is my best technique.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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