Whitehorse skiers selected for junior/U23 world championships

Dahria Beatty and Annah Hanthorn can spend more time worrying about finding the perfect gifts and less time about making the world championships this holiday season.

Dahria Beatty and Annah Hanthorn can spend more time worrying about finding the perfect gifts and less time about making the world championships this holiday season.

With strong performances the last two weekends at the Haywood NorAm world trials, the two Whitehorse skiers have been pre-selected to represent Canada at the FIS Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships this February in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

“I’m really excited about that,” said Beatty. “I was hoping to get this pre-selection spot in December so I wouldn’t have that stress going into January.”

“It’s a nice Christmas gift to be pre-qualified like this,” said Hanthorn.

Kazakhstan will be a first for both skiers with Beatty, 20, competing in her first U23 worlds and Hanthorn, 19, skiing in her first junior worlds.

Both Yukon skiers were the only females selected following this past weekend’s NorAm in Vernon, B.C. The other three positions on each squad – junior and U23, male and female – will be decided in another set of trials early in the New Year in Duntroon, Ont.

“I’m so excited. Completely shocked,” said Hanthorn. “Making the junior worlds team was one of my goals for this year. I am so excited that I was pre-selected.

“The last two races were excruciatingly hard, so it was really exciting to be named to the team. I’m very honoured.”

Hanthorn, who is a member of the junior national team, won silver in the junior women 1.2-kilometre classic sprint Friday and bronze in the junior female five-kilometre free Saturday in Vernon. She won two gold in the NorAm trials the previous weekend.

“I’m not an avid sprinter; it isn’t what I mostly enjoy. I’m more the distance type,” said Hanthorn. “So to be able to get into the A final and get second, that was definitely super exciting.

“And especially for a skate race too. It was my top placing for a skate race (in the NorAms).”

This past weekend Beatty, a member of the national senior development team, took sixth in the senior women 1.2-kilometre Friday.

She then set a career best with a gold in the senior women’s 15-kilometre free skate, beating two-time Olympian Brittany Webster by 22.6 seconds.

“I knew to get this spot I had to win the U23 and it was a 15-kilometre skate race – something I’ve never raced as an individual before,” said Beatty. “So I went into it with a lot of open-minded strategy because it was something new. I focused on thinking about my technique and executing my race plan and it worked out really well for me.

“That was my first NorAm podium ever and my first NorAm victory. So I’m really excited to be on top of the podium – not just in U23, but for the whole domestic North American circuit.”

Though Kazakhstan will be Beatty’s first under-23 worlds, it won’t be her first time representing Canada. Beatty has competed at three junior championships, most recently in Val di Fiemme, Italy, early this year. In her very last individual race in three junior worlds, Beatty finished with her best, placing 15th in a five-kilometre classic.

“It’s a new category, so I’m at the bottom of it again,” said Beatty. “I will have two more years of eligibility after this.

“I have some goals. Ideally, I’d like to put in a top 12 result … But I’m just going to go there and race as hard as I can and learn as much as I can from racing against an international field so that in a couple years time, when I’m once again the oldest in my age group, I can hopefully be comfortable racing at that level.

“My ultimate goal is in a couple of years to be fighting for a podium spot.”

Also vying for a spot at the U23 worlds was Whitehorse’s Knute Johnsgaard. However, the Yukon Elite Squad skier placed 13th in the senior men 1.4-kilometre classic and ninth in the senior men

30-kilometre free, coming second in pre-selection. Johnsgaard will now attempt to make the team in Duntroon.

“I know what an amazing skier he is and I’m confident he’ll have a very good chance at qualifying in January,” said Beatty. “Hopefully all three of us will be heading over there at the end of January.”

Other top Whitehorse results from the weekend include Marcus Deuling and Caelan McLean placing fifth and 12th, respectively, in Saturday’s junior male 10-kilometre free; Kendra Murray taking

11th in the senior women 15-kilometre free and 12th in the sprint; Colin Abbott placing 17th in the senior men 1.4-kilometre classic.

Whitehorse’s Graham Nishikawa, who competed at the world championships two years ago but is now a full-time student at the University of Alberta, placed fifth in senior men both days.

At the end of last week, Cross Country Yukon’s High Performance Committee also announced the team that will compete for Yukon at the Canada Winter Games this February in Prince George, B.C.

On the women’s team are Beatty, Murray, Hanthorn, Natalie Hynes and Hannah Deuling. For the men it’s Johnsgaard, Marcus Deuling, McLean, Simon Cash and Mac Prawdzik.

“This season is still very up in the air and it’s possible, depending on how I ski at the U23 world championships, it is possible I will remain in Europe after that,” said Beatty. “At the moment, Canada Games is in my sights and I’d love to represent Yukon.

“Having Annah and Kendra, and two really fast young girls … I think it’s a really strong women’s team and we could have a great relay team.”

On the other side of the pond, Whitehorse Olympian Emily Nishikawa took 49th in a 10-kilometre skate race at a FIS World Cup on Saturday in Davos, Switzerland.

The previous Saturday Emily raced to a career-best 29th at a World Cup race in Davos.

Emily has made the qualifying time for the FIS World Ski Championships, but the selection of the Canadian team won’t take until Feb. 9, Cross Country Canada told the News yesterday.

Contact Tom Patrick at


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

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

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

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read