Emily Nishikawa, left, and Dahria Beatty, right, compete in the ladies’ 30-kilometre free mass-start race during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on March 1, 2019, in Seefeld, Austria. Beatty placed 15th in this year’s World Cup. (Bob Nishikawa/Yukon News file)

Emily Nishikawa, left, and Dahria Beatty, right, compete in the ladies’ 30-kilometre free mass-start race during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on March 1, 2019, in Seefeld, Austria. Beatty placed 15th in this year’s World Cup. (Bob Nishikawa/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty places 15th in World Cup cross-country finale

Whitehorse athlete Dahria Beatty achieved a new personal best in Switzerland’s Engadin Valley on March 14, coming 15th in the 30-kilometre cross-country ski marathon World Cup season finale.

The Whitehorse resident topped her career-best distance performance by eight spots after finishing the point-to-point skate-ski pursuit race from St. Moritz to S-chanf in a time of 1:30:15.2.

“I was really, really happy with that. It was a great race for me. I felt really strong and it’s really great to finish the year like that,” said Beatty.

Starting one minute, 16 seconds behind the leaders based on Saturday’s 10-kilometre results, the 27-year-old Beatty battled a strong headwind and a dusting of fresh snow to post the best individual performance by a Canadian cross-country skier this season.

“There was a small gap to a big group of girls that I bridged early, and then tried to hang on to that pack of 15 through 27. The goal was to ski in that pack and hold on and see what I can do,” said Beatty, who added the heavy winds made it critical not to be caught left out skiing on your own. “We caught the pack ahead and were in a large group of about five to 22.

“I took a few turns leading. The race ended with a big climb which broke things up. I gave it everything I had and was suffering on the downhill to the finish, but I knew what number I was at. When you are fighting for the top you have a little more dig and I just gave it my all.”

It is the second time ever that Beatty has posted a top-15 result on the World Cup, and it was her third top-30 finish in a distance race. Beatty competed in the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The season was condensed due to COVID-19, and athletes had regular tests for the virus. Returning to Canada, Beatty will have to quarantine before she can return to Whitehorse for a month of rest before training begins again.

Her goal in 2022 will be returning to the Olympics in Beijing.

“Now that the season’s over, my big focus throughout this summer training season is preparing for the Olympics and hopefully being selected for the Olympic team in January next year and competing for Canada at the Olympics in February,” she said.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

cross country skiing

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