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Whitehorse skiers win 9 Buckwheat divisions

Since fewer skiers pass along the trails used for the Buckwheat Ski Classic than, say, at the Whitehorse Nordic Centre, the snow is less packed and distances can seem longer than they are. That's just part of the challenge.

Since fewer skiers pass along the trails used for the Buckwheat Ski Classic than, say, at the Whitehorse Nordic Centre, the snow is less packed and distances can seem longer than they are.

That’s just part of the challenge.

“It’s akin to running on a beach, versus running on a hard surface,” said Whitehorse’s Dave Brook.

“The Buckwheat is an epic race because it often has soft conditions and you’re working really hard over a long time. It’s an incredible trail, and it’s beautiful and gorgeous, but they just don’t have the amount of people to ski on it to make it really hard. So it’s what we call punchy, and your poles go through and you can expend a lot of energy on that course.”

A record 381 skiers registered for the 26th annual Buckwheat classic cross-country loppet at Log Cabin near the B.C./Alaska border on Saturday.

Brook was one nine Whitehorse athletes to win a division out of the 10 at the loppet, taking first in the 50-kilometre men’s event.

Whitehorse skiers almost swept the loppet with just a little over twice the skiers as Alaska entered (245 Yukoners to 110 Alaskans).

It was two in a row for Brook, having won the Northwestel Loppet just a week before in Whitehorse. But it was his first time winning the Buckwheat.

“I think I’ve been second two or three times,” said Brook.

Brook won the Masters men division at last year’s Yukon Cross-Country Championships and captured two bronze medals at the 2011 Masters World Championships.

“I credit (the win) simply because my son wasn’t there,” he said with a chuckle. Brook’s son, Fabian Brook, won a gold at the Haywood Ski Nationals last week and two medals at the Arctic Winter Games the week before.

Not far behind Dave Brook were previous champions, brothers Stephen and Marcus Wattereus.

“Marcus and Stephen - I’ve been racing with those guys forever,” said Brook. “We’re getting older but we still go pretty hard.”

In the 50-kilometre women’s race, Whitehorse’s Sara Nielsen took second behind Theresa White, of Smithers, B.C., the only non-Yukoner to win a division.

Nielsen won the race in 2007 and finished third in the 25-kilometre event in 2010.

Top-five results

50km men

1st Dave Brook

(Whitehorse) - 3:09:15

2nd Stephen Wattereus

(Whitehorse) - 3:17:44

3rd Marcus Wattereus

(Whitehorse) - 3:18:12

4th Dominic Bradford

(Whitehorse) - 3:25:02

5th Scott Williams

(Whitehorse) - 3:32:21

50km women

1st Theresa White

(Smithers, B.C.) - 3:39:41

2nd Sara Nielsen,

(Whitehorse) - 4:04:15

3rd Verena Koenig

(Whitehorse) - 4:20:03

4th Anne Johnson

(Juneau) - 5:22:57

5th Crystal Dooley

(Juneau) - 5:31:30

25km men

1st Chris Schmidt

(Whitehorse) - 1:29:15

2nd Caelan McLean

(Whitehorse) - 1:33:57

3rd Trevor Bray

(Whitehorse) - 1:36:46

4th Simon LaPointe

(Whitehorse) - 1:37:01

5th Reid Seal

(Whitehorse) - 1:37:07

25km women

1st Pippa Lawson

(Whitehorse) - 1:49:34

2nd Leslie Doran

(Whitehorse) - 1:50:22

3rd Lois Johnston

(Whitehorse) - 1:51:24

4th Merry Ellefson

(Douglas) - 1:55:18

5th Laura Salmon

(Whitehorse) - 1:55:30

10km men

1st Ian Hogeboom-Burr

(Whitehorse) - 36:53

2nd Simon Cash

(Whitehorse) - 36:55

3rd Rob Rees

(Whitehorse) - 38:14

4th Tom Waldo

(Juneau) - 0:39:47

5th Andrew Seal

(Whitehorse) - 0:40:23

10km women

1st Cambria Fuerstner

(Whitehorse) - 39:07

2nd Meagan Wilson

(Whitehorse) - 41:50

3rd Eliza Paul

(Whitehorse) - 44:30

4th Hannah Shier

(Whitehorse) - 0:45:09

5th Regan Fuerstner

(Whitehorse) - 0:45:11

5km boys 11-12

1st Liam Mather

(Whitehorse) - 24:25

2nd Sam Fleming

(Whitehorse) - 35:35

3rd Alex Roberts

(Whitehorse) - 35:39

4th Ewan Halliday

(Whitehorse) - 0:35:50

5th Danny Brady

(Skagway) - 0:57:11

5km girls 11-12

1st Savannah Cash

(Whitehorse) - 27:43

2nd Dagmar Janzen

(Whitehorse) - 32:44

3rd Pascale Halliday

(Whitehorse) - 48:22

4th Sophie Rees

(Whitehorse) - 0:48:23

5km boys 10-and-under

1st Nichollis Schmidt

(Whitehorse) - 26:02

2nd Ben Shier

(Whitehorse) - 30:29

3rd Micah Taggart-Cox

(Marsh Lake) - 30:29

4th Caius Taggart-Cox

(Marsh Lake) - 0:30:46

5th Sullivan Bond

(Whitehorse) - 0:30:52

5km girls 10-and-under

1st Sofia Bond

(Whitehorse) - 28:44

2nd Sonja Schmidt

(Whitehorse) - 30:19

3rd Dahlia LaPointe

(Whitehorse) - 30:27

4th Mikayla Kramer

(Whitehorse) - 0:37:52

5th Amelia LaTour

(Whitehorse) - 0:40:50

Contact Tom Patrick at