(Vernon, BC) A group of dedicated athletes opened their competitive season December 8th and 9th at the Haywood NorAm/US Super Tour held in beautiful Silver Star Provincial Park at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Center, B.C. Thunder Bay was well represented by a number of local athletes who train year round with Big Thunder and Lappe Nordic clubs, National Team Development Center (NTDC) and Lakehead University Thunderwolves varsity team. The Nordic Skiing events included Free Technique (Skate) Sprints on Saturday and Interval Start Classic races on Sunday.
Thunder Bay athletes dominated in Saturday’s Senior Men’s Free Technique Sprints B Final with Lappe’s Evan Palmer-Charrette claiming silver followed narrowly by his former NTDC teammates Bob Thompson, Graham Ritchie and Julian Smith in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. Lakehead varsity team member Conor McGovern captured the bronze in the Junior Men’s B Final while Big Thunder/NTDC athlete Heidi Stewart nabbed silver for Junior Women. In Senior Women Katherine Stewart-Jones (NTDC) placed 6th in the B-Final.
The excitement continued on Sunday with Interval Start Classic distance events. In a highly competitive field, Senior Woman Katherine Stewart-Jones (NTDC) claimed the gold in her ten kilometre race. Big Thunder’s Ontario Ski Team member Erik Schlyter also made the podium earning bronze in Junior Boys. Conor McGovern (LU) pushed into the top ten for Junior Men followed by Big Thunder/NTDC athlete Kai Meekis in 16th. Veteran NTDC athlete Bob Thompson claimed 6th in the Senior Men’s fifteen kilometre distance event while the youngest local athlete in the group, Big Thunder’s Anna Stewart , placed 6th in Juvenile Girls.
Looking ahead, senior athletes will travel to Canmore, Alberta to compete at the World Junior/U23 Trials December 14th – 16th. Local organizers from the Lake Superior Nordic Association, (a joint Big Thunder/Lappe Nordic collaboration) are hard at work getting ready to host the Ontario Cup #2/Canada Winter Games Trials at Lappe Nordic Ski Center in Thunder Bay, Ontario January 4th – 6th, 2019.