John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News Amanda Thomson, seen here during the Don Sumanik Memorial Race on Dec. 9, took second in the junior girls free sprint after qualifying in first place at the 2018 NorAm Westerns in Red Deer.

Team Yukon skiers bring back podium finishes, confidence from NorAm Westerns

‘It’s always good to be successful on courses you know will be used next year’

Nine of Team Yukon’s cross-country skiers made the trip to the River Bend Recreation Area in Red Deer for the 2018 Haywood NorAm Westerns and brought back some stellar results.

Head coach Alain Masson said the three-day event was a success.

“It was a great weekend,” said Masson. “Sprinting is usually not one of our strengths, so it was nice to see some of our athletes did really well in the sprint.”

The top sprinter for the Yukon contingent was Amanda Thomson, who qualified first in the junior girls 800-metre free sprint, and finished second in the finals. Also in the junior girls category, Hannah Jirousek qualified 25th and finished in 23rd spot.

In the juvenile girls race, Sonjaa Schmidt and Dahlia Lapointe both qualified in the top 10. Schmidt finished seventh after the B final and Lapointe snagged 11th.

Four skiers — Derek Deuling, Sasha Masson, Victor Emile-Thibeault and Ben Puskas — raced in the juvenile boys sprint and all four finished in the top 20. Deuling finished in seventh, Emile-Thibeault in 10th, Sasha Masson in 13th and Puskas in 16th.

The lone junior boy, Nichollis Schmidt, qualified in 11th position but finished in fifth following the finals.

Yukon’s skiers were again putting up solid results the next day in the mass start classic race.

In the best Yukon finish of the weekend, Deuling won the juvenile boys five-kilometre race with a time of 14:10.3. Emile-Thibeault finished 50 seconds off the pace in sixth and Puskas and Sasha Masson both cracked the top 15.

Thomson again cracked the podium with a third-place finish in the junior girls 10-kilometre race, just 18.6 seconds behind the winner, Molly Miller. Jirousek finished in 11th place.

Nichollis Schmidt finished 16th in the junior boys 10-kilometre race while Lapointe and Sonjaa Schmidt finished 14th and 24th respectively in the juvenile girls five-kilometre race.

Team Yukon was only able to enter two official teams into the free relays on day three, but they both skied to top-five finishes.

Deuling, Emile-Thibeault and Sasha Masson made up the juvenile boys 10-kilometre team that finished second, just 20 seconds back of the winners. The junior girls team of Thomson, Sonjaa Schmidt and Jirousek finished fifth in the 10-kilometre relay.

In the junior boys 10-kilometre relay, a team of Nichollis Schmidt, Puskas and Yellowknife’s Nicholas Bennett skied to a third-place finish.

Beyond the results, this competition was a valuable opportunity, as the River Bend Recreation Area will host next year’s Canada Winter Games.

“It’s always a confidence-booster for athletes to do well on courses that will be used for Canada Games,” said Alain Masson. “The age next year for Canada Games is under 20, so it’s going to be an older competition for some of our younger athletes, but it’s always good to be successful on courses you know will be used next year.”

Next up for Team Yukon skiers are the B.C. championships in February.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

cross country skiingTeam Yukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kwanlin Dün First Nation chief Doris Bill holds up a signed copy of the KDFN <em>Lands Act</em> agreement during an announcement at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse on Oct. 20. Under the new act, called Nan kay sháwthän Däk’anúta ch’e (We all look after our land) in Southern Tutchone, KDFN will be able to allot citizens land to build their own houses on, for example, or to use for traditional activities. The First Nation will also be able to enforce laws around things like land access and littering. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s Lands Act comes into force

The act gives the First Nation the authority to manage, protect and enforce laws on its settlement lands

Two doctors in Watson Lake say they are at risk of losing their housing due to a Yukon Housing Corporation policy that only allows one pet per family. (Wikimedia Commons)
Healthcare workers in Watson Lake say housing pet policy could force them to leave

The Yukon Housing Corporation has threatened evictions for having more than one pet

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Most Read