Whitehorse skiers burn up the trails at junior/U23 worlds

It should be no surprise that a skier from a mountainous region like Yukon would excel at an uphill climb.

It should be no surprise that a skier from a mountainous region like Yukon would excel at an uphill climb.

That’s what Whitehorse’s Knute Johnsgaard did to start the FIS Nordic Junior/U23 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, last week.

Johnsgaard, who was racing in U23 men, led the Canadian team with a 14th place finish in the sprint event on Feb. 3, outpacing competition on the steep incline towards the finish.

“Overall I’m very happy with my performances in Kazakhstan,” said Johnsgaard in an email to the News. “The sprint race was my best result. There was a big hill near the end of the course, which suited me well. It was almost too steep to glide up so I kind of just ran/shuffled up it as fast as I could. I managed to move up a few positions from 16th to 14th in the heats so I was very happy.”

The Yukon Elite Squad skier then took 47th in the 15-kilometre free on Feb. 5 and once again led Canada with a 32nd place finish in the 30-kilometre skiathlon last Saturday.

“I’ve been to worlds three times and each time I’ve improved on my results so experience has definitely been valuable,” he said. “Kazakstan was actually quite similar to Turkey where I competed at my first world junior championship. Kazakhstan is not a skiing nation so it was very much a test event for the 2022 Olympics which Almaty is bidding for. They had less than ideal conditions to deal with.”

Johnsgaard was joined by fellow Whitehorse skiers Dahria Beatty and Annah Hanthorn in Almaty.

Beatty, who was competing in her fourth worlds but first for U23, also opened with her best finish. The 20-year-old led the Canadian team in the sprints, qualifying in 27th and finishing in 20th.

“I was happy with my sprint race, it is always great to get more international experience and I was able to fight with the other girls for the lead throughout the sprint,” said Beatty in an email to the News. “Unfortunately in the last 100 metres I wasn’t able to stay with the pace and finished fourth in my quarterfinal placing me 20th. I would have liked to have moved on to the semi-finals, but it was a good day overall.”

Beatty then skied to 30th in the 10-kilometre free on Feb. 5, despite breaking off part of the base of a ski on a rock.

She dropped out during the 15-kilometre skiathlon on Saturday.

“I was really looking forward to the skiathlon but the night before the race I came down with a stomach bug and was up the entire night sick,” said Beatty. “I tried to start the race and for the first 2.5 kilometres I was up with the lead group around 17th, but then having not been able to eat and having been sick caught up to me and my body shutdown, I had to drop out of the race when I started shaking and my vision was going blurry.”

Hanthorn, who is a member of the junior national team, posted consistent finishes in Almaty.

In what was her first junior worlds, she took 45th in the sprint, 44th in the five-kilometre free and 47th in the 10-kilometre skiathlon.

She finished the championships helping Canada’s junior team take 10th in the 4×3.3-kilometre relay.

With her strong results, Beatty has decided to stay overseas to race in Scandinavian Cups for her second year in a row.

Johnsgaard and Hanthorn have returned and are set to represent Yukon at the Canada Winter Games, which begin Saturday in Prince George, B.C. The cross-country events will take place in the second week of the Games, beginning on Feb. 23.

“I had the option of staying in Europe and racing the same Scandinavian Cups as I did last year, but I chose to come back and compete at Canada Games,” said Johnsgaard.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker plead guilty to offences under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Couple who broke isolation rules to get vaccines in Beaver Creek fined $2,300

Crown and defence agreed on no jail time for Rod and Ekaterina Baker

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 16, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
COVID-19 outbreak surges to 50 active cases in the Yukon

Officials urge Yukoners to continue following guidelines, get vaccinated

Team Yukon during the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse. (Submitted/Sport Yukon)
Whitehorse will bid for 2027 Canada Winter Games

Bid would be submitted in July 2022

File Photo
The overdose crisis, largely driven by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil was the topic of an online discussion hosted by Blood Ties Four Directions Centre and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition on June 8 and 10.
Discussion of overdose crisis in Yukon leaves participants hopeful for future

The forum brought together people including some with personal drug use and addiction experience.

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

For the second year running, the Yukon Quest will not have 1,000 mile race. Crystal Schick/Yukon News
The Yukon Quest will be two shorter distance events instead of a 1,000 mile race

After receiving musher feeback, the Yukon Quest Joint Board of Directors to hold two shorter distances races instead of going forward with the 1,000 mile distance

Western and Northern premiers met this week to discuss joint issues. (Joe Savikataaq/Twitter)
Premiers meet at Northern Premiers’ Forum and Western Premiers’ Conference

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq virtually hosted both meetings this year

The sun sets over Iqaluit on Oct. 26, 2020. Nunavut’s chief public health officer says two COVID-19 cases at Iqaluit’s middle school came from household transmission and the risk to other students is low. (Emma Tranter/Canadian Press)
Iqaluit school’s contacts and classmates cleared after two COVID-19 cases

With an outbreak ongoing in Iqaluit, the Aqsarniit middle school has split students into two groups

An extended range impact weapon is a “less lethal” option that fires sponge or silicon-tipped rounds, according to RCMP. (File photo)
Whitehorse RCMP under investigation for use of “less lethal” projectile weapon during arrest

Police used the weapon to subdue a hatchet-wielding woman on June 4

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents.
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

The move comes in response to a call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015

Teslin Lake is one of two bodies of water the Yukon Government has place on flood watch. (Google Maps Image)
Flood watch issued for Teslin Lake, Yukon River at Carmacks

The bodies of water may soon burst their banks due to melting snow and rainfall

Most Read