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NTDC-Thunder Bay trio heading to world championships (5 photos)

Sadie White, Julian Smith and Graham Ritchie, competing at this week's Ontario Cup, earned spots on Team Canada and will head to Finland later this month.

LAPPE, Ont. – Sadie White’s season is rounding into form at just the right time.

The Thunder Bay skier earlier this season earned a spot on Team Canada and will compete later this month at the FIS Nordic Junior and Under 23 championships in Lahti, Finland, which get under way on Jan. 20.

A fourth-year member of the National Training and Development Centre-Thunder Bay squad, White on Friday took second place behind teammate Heidi Stewart in the Ontario Cup senior women’s sprint race, an event she’s using as a tune-up before heading overseas next week.

White said she’s about as prepared as she can get for the championships, with a week in Norway to make final preparations for the event.

“At this point, we’ve put all the work in, so what I think it is, is all the little things heading into it, so getting enough sleep, staying healthy, eating really well, stuff like that,” White said.

Having the chance to represent her country again, three years after winning a spot on the Canadian junior team in Romania, is a fantastic feeling, she added.

“It’s exciting,” White said. “We’ve put in so much hard work to be able to do this, so for it to have paid off, to be able to do this, on the right day, it’s awesome.”

White won’t be heading over the pond alone.
She’ll be joined by NTDC teammates Julian Smith and Graham Ritchie.

Smith, a native of Oxenden, Ont., was a member of the U23 team in 2017 and he cruised to a first-place finish on Friday in the open men’s sprint competition at the Ontario Cup, held at Lappe Nordic Ski Centre.

A chance to train on familiar territory is a great way to get ready for Finland, Smith said.

“Today is good to get a couple good hard efforts, get the body jump-started and to get some speed in the legs,” he said.

His expectations in Finland are to finish strong and hopefully land a spot on the podium.

It’s all about pride, Smith said.

“It’s a great opportunity and so exciting and so humbling,” he said. “But for personal goals, my goal is to compete for the podium. The goal is to start the A final.

“The chances are hard to put in a numerical value, but I think everyone who starts the race has an opportunity. The goal is to go there and execute my goals, my process goals, and I think I have the ability to obtain that.”

Wearing the Canadian colours is what it’s all about.

“I feel that when you have the red on your back, when you’re wearing the race suit, you know that not only your parents and your friends, but everyone in the country that skis is going to be watching those results coming in,” Smith said.

Ritchie, who hails from Parry Sound, Ont., is a first-year member of the NDTC-Thunder Bay team and has a 12th-place finish at the world junior skate sprint under his belt.

Senior/Junior Women

1. Heidi Stewart
2. Sadie White
3. Shaylynn Loewen
4. Anna Stewart
5. Sadie Peterson
6. Chloe Ranahan

Senior/Junior Men
1. Julian Smith
2. Graham Ritchie
3. Malcolm Thompson
4. Conor McGovern
5. Pierre Grall-Johnson
6. Kai Meekis

Ontario Cup Prologue
Junior Girls

1. Colleen Beck
2. Fiona Shearing
3. Elise Hummelbrunner

Junior Boys
1. Max Hollman
2. Gavan Barrett
3. Dylan Beck

Juvenile Girls
1. Carley Kiiskila
2. Katie MacIntosh
3. Katya Semeniuk

Juvenile Boys
1. Robin Mason
2. Hayden McCulloch
3. Declan McClure

Midget Girls
1. Claire Allan
2. Ruth Zavitz
3. Maaritta Puiras

Midget Boys
1. William Vanden Berg
2. Asher Nadlersmith
3. Joel Haering


Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 19 years and has served a similar role with since 2009. Wants his Expos back. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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