The weather might be lousy, but so far the medal haul is outstanding.
After a few days of plowing through slush and ice, Team Yukon has amassed eight medals with three days of races to go at the Haywood Ski Nationals in Collingwood, Ontario.
“It’s good because we have lots of different skiers winning medals,” said Alain Masson, the team’s head coach. “Last year we had six different medals winners, which was the best ever in the history of Cross-Country Yukon. This year we have at least that, or better.”
With four days of racing complete, Team Yukon finally nailed down its first gold Thursday with Dahria Beatty winning the juvenile girls 800-metre classic sprint.
“It’s her first Nationals,” said Masson. “So it’s great to see her being so competitive.”
Thursday’s other success stories include a bronze by Janelle Greer in the junior girls 800-metre sprint and three top-10 finishes by Yukoners, Jeff Wood, Logan Potter and Lee Hawkings in the junior boys sprint.
Beatty and Greer worked together in the Challenge Girls event on Sunday to win silver while Wood and Hawkings took bronze in the boys’ challenge.
Making it a full set, Beatty also won a bronze Monday in the five-kilometre skate, losing her second place position after falling in the home stretch.
“What I really like is that most of our athletes are racing a lot better this week than they did at the Western (Championships) a few weeks ago,” said Masson. “Most of our athletes are peaking for this event, which was our goal.”
Greer’s brother, David, also captured a pair of silver medals, preserving through the slush in the men’s 10-kilometre Monday and 15-kilometre classic Wednesday.
“Today had really heavy snow just below zero, with ice and everything,” said Masson. “It’s changed so much in the last 24 hours.
“The good thing is it affects everyone equally. It makes it really challenging for the wax technician and coaches.”
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