While most of the Yukon Ski Team was at home battling cold weather, a few of their teammates were off battling on race courses across the continent.
Graham Nishikawa, racing in the Eastern Canadian Championships in Cantley, Quebec, scored a pair of podium appearances.
He outsprinted Stefan Kuhn of the National Ski Team to take top honours in the open men’s category in a 1.2-kilometre sprint race on Saturday, then powered to a third-place finish in a tough 30-kilometre classic race on Sunday, just over a minute behind winner Brent McMurtry.
At the same meet, David Greer picked up a fourth place in the junior men’s category in the Saturday sprint, then made the podium with a second place in his category for the Sunday distance race, only three minutes behind winner Frédéric Touchette.
Halfway across the continent, Emily Nishikawa was also standing on the podium after placing third in a classic sprint race in Madison, Wisconsin. The race was part of the US Supertour race series.
In other skiing news, Cross Country Yukon has announced the names of the athletes who will represent Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games, to be held in Yellowknife in March. The team will consist of 20 young athletes led by three seasoned coaches.
Team selections by category are:
Midget Girls: Dahria Beatty, Nesha Wright, Holly Bull, Kathryn Peters
Midget Boys: Fabian Brook, Isak Baril-Blouin, Trevor Bray, Eric Fekete
Juvenile Girls: Heidi Brook, Kendra Murray, Odette Rivard
Juvenile Boys: Knute Johnsgaard, Logan Roots, George Rivard
Junior Girls: Brittany Pearson, Ziggy Reimer
Junior Boys: Logan Potter, Nansen Murray, Jeff Wood, Lee Hawkings
The skiers were selected based on their outstanding performance in the Don Sumanik selection races, held earlier this year.
Head coach for the trip will be Sara Nielsen, assisted by Johanna Smith and Scott Puskas.
Atom division (Sunday)
Gem Gas 6
Pearson Dental 4
Kole Smeeton led Gem Gas with four goals, while Dennis Itsi and Dustyn VanBibber added a goal each.
Pearson Dental’s top scorer was Keenan Livingston, with two goals, and Ryan Edwards and Luke McGrath scored as well.
AON Flames 7
Performance Centre Turbos 1
Stu Mackay and Jim Giczi both scored a hat trick for the Flames, while Dennis Zimmerman added one and Dean Faragher recorded three assists.
Rick Blaker scored for the Turbos, assisted by Dennis Connelly.
Firth Rangers 3
Klondyke Dental Molars 2
Joel Witten, Ron Sumanik and Bruce Williams scored for the Rangers.
Ross Phillips and Adam Green had goals for the Molars.