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Thunder Bay dominates Ontario Youth Cross Country Ski Championships

Thunder Bay dominates the 2020 Ontario Youth Cross Country Ski Championships in Timmins, Ont.
2020 OYC U14 boys medal winners
Willem van Duyn leading the pack with Cedric Martel and Sebastien Doucet hot on his heels. (Photo by Stephanie Marler)


THUNDER BAY -- Twenty-six of Thunder Bay’s U8 to U14 cross country skiers from Big Thunder and Lappe Nordic, as well as 19 ski clubs from across the province, travelled to Timmins this weekend for the 2020 Ontario Youth Championships. After challenging conditions for some of these athletes at the Ontario Winter Games last week, they enjoyed perfect “Thunder Bay” like trail conditions with excellent grooming by the local organizing team. Both ski clubs came home with an armload of medals as well as two coveted technique awards won by 9-year-old Jack Nyitrai and 9-year-old Max Sarrazin.

Lappe Nordic and Big Thunder dominated the competitive field of athletes with podium finishes in several age categories on both days. The 2006 boys swept the podium in both Saturday and Sunday’s 4 kilometres races with Sebastien Doucet winning gold on Saturday in the Interval Start Classic race, followed by Willem van Duyn and Cedric Martel with silver and bronze, respectively. On Sunday, it was Willem van Duyn’s turn for gold in the Mass Start Skate technique race, with Cedric Martel in silver, and Sebastien Doucet with bronze.

The Puiras girls, Maaritta, Emmi and Kirsti, all podiumed on both days, with Maaritta earning silver on Saturday and bronze on Sunday, Emmi with gold and bronze, Kirsti with gold and silver. 8 year-old Caed Hakanen won the bronze medal in his category.

The 2007 girls had a strong podium presence with Charlotte Ailey winning gold on Saturday, followed by Sarah Kiiskila in silver. Sarah Kiiskila then won gold on Sunday with Min Dobson in 3rd place.

Our final podiums were clinched in the boys’ 2007 category with silver by Willem Abbink in Saturday’s race and by Mikkai Jones and Willem Abbink, in silver and bronze, respectively, in Sunday’s race.

Full Thunder Bay Results:

Saturday Interval Start Classic - Girls by YOB: 2012 Kirsti Puiras 1st; 2010 Emmi Puiras 1st; 2009 Hanna Abbink 6th, Klara van Duyn 10th, Daphne Vanlenthe 15th; 2008 Kaia Hakanen 7th, Kate Haering 9th, 2007 Charlotte Ailey 1st, Sarah Kiiskila 2nd, Min Dobson 4th, Delaney Summers 12th; 2006 Maaritta Puiras 2nd, Mattea Hakanen 8th, Charlotte Sarrazin 10th, Kytalyn Smith 16th.

Saturday Interval Start Classic – Boys by YOB: 2011 Caed Hakanen 3rd; 2010 Jack Nyitrai 4th, Max Sarrazin 6th, 2008 Nolan Nyitrai 7th; 2007 Willem Abbink 2nd, Mikkai Jones 6th, Samuel Vanlenthe 9th; 2006 Sebastien Doucet 1st, Willem van Duyn 2nd, Cedric Martel 3rd, Noah Wiebe 12th.

Sunday Mass Start Skate – Girls by YOB: 2012 Kirsti Puiras 2nd, 2010 Emmi Puiras 3rd, 2009 Hanna Abbink 6th, Klara van Duyn 7th, Daphne Vanlenthe 16th, 2008 Kate Haering 8th, Kaia Hakanen 10th; 2007 Sarah Kiiskila 1st, Min Dobson 3rd, Charlotte Ailey 7th, Delaney Summers 14th; 2006 Maaritta Puiras 3rd, Mattea Hakanen 5th, Kytalyn Smith 12th, Charlotte Sarrazin 13th.

Sunday Mass Start Skate – Boys by YOB: 2011 Caed Hakanen 4th; 2010 Jack Nyitrai 5th, Max Sarrazin 9th; 2008 Nolan Nyitrai 4th; 2007 Mikkai Jones 2nd, Willem Abbink 3rd, Samuel Vanlenthe 10th; 2006 Willem van Duyn 1st, Cedric Martel 2nd, Sebastien Doucet 3rd, Noah Wiebe 12th.