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Sports briefs: speedskating, biathlon, orienteering, judo, skiing

Members of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club answered “yes” at the R U Fast meet at Calgary’s Olympic Oval March 4-5.

Members of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club answered “yes” at the R U Fast meet at Calgary’s Olympic Oval March 4-5.

Seven Rapids skaters competed at the short-track event, reaching a bevy of A finals. Five raced in the Train 2 Train (T2T) male division.

Tristan Muir placed 17th out of 56 skaters in T2T. The 14-year-old made the A final in the 200-metre, placing fourth. He also took second in the 400-metre B final.

Lucas Taggart-Cox sped to 25th with three A final appearances, taking first in the 400-metre and second in the 200-metre.

Joshua Lauer claimed 47th at his first Outside meet. He made the 200-metre A final and placed fourth.

Anders Petersson reached two A finals with third in the 400-metre and fourth in the 1,500-metre to place 50th overall.

Simon Lauer also made two A finals with third in the 1,500-metre and fourth in the 400-metre to finish 53rd.

Rapids skater Lisa Freeman set personal best times in all her distances in the T2T female division en route to 24th out of 45 skaters. The 12-year-old reached two A finals, placing first in both — the 200-metre and 1,500-metre.

Teammate Adelle Anderson, who only started skating this season, finished eighth in her division in Learn 2 Train for younger, less experienced skaters. She made B finals in all four events, placing second in the 300-metre.

The Rapids club will host the Yukon Speed Skating Championships this Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.

Cadet biathlete on target at nationals

A Whitehorse air cadet has flown to hardware at a national biathlon event.

Aidan Hupe skied and shot his way to silver and bronze in the junior boys division at the Cadet National Biathlon Championships last week in Valcartier, Que. He is the first Yukon cadet to win a medal at the event in over a decade.

Hupe was joined at the championship by Noah Gilbert, Rosie Lang and Aurora Krause — all members of the 551 Whitehorse Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron representing the North.

Hupe won silver in the junior boys 4.5-kilometre mass start and bronze in the junior boys 4.5-km sprint. Gilbert placed 17th and 12th in those two races.

Hupe and Gilbert also took sixth out of 12 teams in the junior male 4.5-km relay.

Lang, who was competing in the senior girls division, placed 22nd in the six-kilometre sprint and 18th in the six-kilometre mass start.

Krause, who was in junior girls, claimed 27th in 4.5-kilometre sprint.

Lang and Krause teamed up for 12th in open female 4.5-kilometre relay.

Hupe is also a member of Biathlon Yukon’s Velocity Squad for elite biathletes. So far this season the 14-year-old has won two silver at a B.C. Cup and a bronze at a Calforex Cup in Alberta.

Yukon orienteerers selected for worlds

For the 11th straight year Yukon will be represented at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) this summer.

Whitehorse’s Leif Blake and Caelan McLean have been named to the national 10-person team, Orienteering Canada announced on March 7.

Every year since 2007 there have been at least two Yukon orienteerers on the Canadian team at JWOC.

“Leif and Caelan have been on the team previously and have some experience. That will be key for the tricky terrain awaiting them in Finland,” said Canadian high performance coach Brent Langbakk in a message to the News.

“The YOA (Yukon Orienteering Association) is obviously really proud to have representation on Canada’s Junior Worlds team.”

This summer’s JWOC will be Blake’s second and McLean’s third. Both produced Canada’s second highest finishes in men’s races at last year’s championship.

The 2017 JWOC will take place this July in Tampere, Finland.

Yukon judoka wins gold at international tourney

Whitehorse’s Cassandra Jensen threw down opponents to pick up gold over the weekend.

Jensen, a blue belt from Whitehorse’s Shiroumakai Judo Club, won three consecutive fights for gold in U14 women under-48kg division at the 32nd annual Pacific International Invitational Judo Tournament on March 4th in Richmond, B.C.

Shiroumakai’s Rowen Kingston also competed. The green belt lost both his fights in the U18 men under-73kg division.

Jensen and Kingston were competing in Richmond as a judo first was happening in Yukon. Thirty-seven competitors from Yukon’s five clubs took part in the first-ever judo tournament held in Carmacks. The event was hosted by the Carmacks Judo Club founded last year.

Geoffroy-Gagnon lands top-20 again

Whitehorse’s Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon has finished top-20 at a third consecutive FIS (International Ski Federation) event in as many weeks.

The 19-year-old placed 12th out of 37 skiers in men’s slopestyle at the FIS NorAm Cup event at Ontario’s Mount St. Louis Moonstone resort on March 4. He was just two spots from qualifying for the final.

Geoffroy-Gagnon, who is a member of the Yukon Freestyle Ski Team, placed 16th out of 95 skiers at the Aspen Open in Colorado on Feb. 17. He then He placed 18th out of 52 at another FIS NorAm on Feb. 26 in Calgary.

Geoffroy-Gagnon qualified for the elite FIS NorAm circuit with a podium finish at a Canadian Open Tour event in January, winning silver in men’s slopestyle at Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon, B.C. The medal marks the best-ever finish by a Yukoner at a Canadian Open.

Contact Tom Patrick at