The classic sprint events at the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championships in Whistler, British Columbia were good to three of the Yukoners in the field.
Olympian Dahria Beatty as well as U20 athletes Derek Deuling and Sasha Masson made the podium in their sprint events.
Beatty, who is on the tail end of a long season that included the Beijing Olympics in February, finished first among Canadians and third overall in the March 23 events.
“I was really tired, but I knew my skis were running really well,” said Beatty. “I usually have a strong double pole finish. Tactically speaking I was working really well to go to the outside in the finish chute where people hadn’t skied in the qualifier because it was a lot faster, and I was confident in my finish.”
Beatty was the lone Canadian in the head to head final heat. She said she left a gap open on a climb that was exploited by Caitlin Patterson, a fellow two-time Olympian from Alaska. Patterson passed Beatty for second and another American, Julia Kern was first.
Deuling outpaced the next fastest skier, Luke Allan of Ottawa, by five seconds to secure first place in the U20 Men’s sprint event. Masson was less than a second behind Allan to take third place.
In the U20 Women’s race, Sonjaa Schmidt of Whitehorse made the final heat on her way to a fifth-place finish.
There is still a weekend full of racing ahead at the Canadian Championships with U16 and U18 sprints March 24, team sprints March 25 and longer races March 27.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org