Sasha Masson, pictured on the right during a race in 2017, finished fourth in the U20 men’s sprint race at the Haywood NorAm event on Dec. 6 in Canmore, Alta. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)

Yukon cross-country skiers race at Haywood NorAm event in Alberta

Sasha Masson had the best result of the weekend, finishing fourth in the sprint

It was a busy weekend of racing for Yukon cross-country skiers at the Haywood NorAm event in Canmore, Alta., from Dec. 6 to 8.

On Dec. 6, skiers competed in a 1.3-kilometre sprint event.

A total of five Yukoners raced in the U20 men’s sprint. Sasha Masson was the top finisher, placing fourth with a time of two minutes and 48.89 seconds. Xavier McKeever won the final with a time of two minutes and 41.84 seconds.

Close behind Masson was teammate Derek Deuling in 13th with a time of two minutes and 50.95 seconds and Victor-Emile Thibeault was 22nd with a time of two minutes and 56.11 seconds. Both Deuling and Thibeault reached the quarter-finals.

Romeo Champagne was 42nd after qualification with a time of three minutes and 6.3 seconds, and Curtis Cash was 54th with a time of three minutes and 11.02 seconds.

Whitehorse’s Amanda Thomson finished 10th in the U20 women’s category with a time of three minutes and 24.57 seconds, behind winner Anna Pryce with a time of three minutes and 10.7 seconds.

Joining Thomson in the U20 category was Sonjaa Schmidt who placed 46th after qualification with a time of three minutes and 43.24 seconds.

Focus shifted to the interval-start classic races on Dec. 7 with more strong finishes for Yukon skiers.

At the senior level, Graham Nishikawa finished 21st in the men’s 10-km race with a time of 28 minutes and 58.8 seconds. Zak Ketterson won the race with a time of 27 minutes and 33.1 seconds.

Deuling had the highest finish of the day for the Yukon, placing fifth in the men’s U20 10-km race with a time of 30 minutes and 2.8 seconds. Joe Davies won the category with a time of 28 minutes and 41.3 seconds.

Masson finished 16th with a time of 31 minutes and 20.9 seconds, Thibeault finished 31st with a time of 33 minutes and 0.8 seconds, Curtis Cash finished 36th with a time of 34 minutes and 8.1 seconds, and Champagne finished 44th with a time of 35 minutes and 59.2 seconds.

Jasmine Drolet won the U20 women’s five-km race with a time of 16 minutes and 43.9 seconds.

Thomson finished 14th with a time of 17 minutes and 28.2 seconds, and Schmidt finished 19th with a time of 17 minutes and 51 seconds.

The final race of the weekend was an interval-start free race on Dec. 8.

In the senior men’s 15-km race, Nishikawa finished 15th with a time of 44 minutes and 5.8 seconds. Benjamin Lustgarten won the race with a time of 42 minutes and 56 seconds.

McKeever was the U20 men’s 15-km winner with a time of 44 minutes and 42.9 seconds.

The fastest Yukoner was Deuling in 14th place with a time of 48 minutes and 25.4 seconds. Masson was 23rd with a time of 50 minutes and 27.3 seconds, Champagne was 29th with a time of 52 minutes and 46.6 seconds, and Cash was 40th with a time of 57 minutes and 40.8 seconds.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at

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