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XC Ottawa 2007-08 Season Summary
By:  Team XC Ottawa   (2008/04/22)


Overall, XC Ottawa’s 2007-2008 racing season was one of the best and most consistent, with good performances from the early races in November through to Nationals in March. Contributing to the ski community is also an important goal for our team, and judging by the ever increasing popularity of our website, and participation at the races we organized, we think we are succeeding on that front as well.

Megan McTavish excelled at long and short distances this season, and represented Canada at the Canmore World Cup races.

The early season saw several team members racing the Haywood NorAm circuit late November through early January, looking for good competition and those coveted FIS points. Megan and Sheila started the season impressively, with Megan racing 6 top 10 performances, highlighted by two 6th places (5km classic in Canmore, and 10km pursuit in Valcartier), and Sheila had 4 top 10 performances, the best being 5th place at the 10km pursuit in Valcartier. Karl led our men with an 11th place in the Valcartier pursuit. Alana also raced well, with 4 top 10 performances in the Junior Woman division, her best races were in Valcartier (2nd in the 10km pursuit; 3rd in the 5km classic).

Early season success at Valcartier NorAm - Megan and Sheila together in pursuit race.

Andrew Wynd racing his final race with XC Ottawa at Canmore NorAm

Megan’s great early season racing allowed her to represent Canada at the Canmore World Cup in the skate and classic sprint events, where she relished the experience of competing against the best in the World.

Megan McTavish racing Canmore World Cup

Most of use stayed closer to home after January, enjoying the great ski conditions, amazing snow, and local races. Here are some highlights:

Coupe Skinouk Skate: Justin – 1st; Wayne – 2nd; Craig – 4th
Coupe Skinouk Classic: Sheila – 1st; Wayne - 1st, Justin – 2nd; Craig – 3rd

Justin Demers had a great rookie season with XC Ottawa, and captured the NCD Senior Men's Championship. Here he is leading Craig Storey, and Wayne Dustin in the Coupe Skinouk

XC Ottawa-Eload Duathlon: Sheila – 1st ; Karl – 1st ; Justin – 2nd

A strong and consistent season for Karl Saidla, here leading XC Ottawa-E-load duathlon.

Haywood/NorAm Eastern Canadian Championships (Nakkertok)
Skate Sprints - Alana – 1st Junior
Distance Classic: Megan – 4th ; Sheila – 5th

In her last season as a junior, Alana Thomas was Sprint Champion at Eastern Canadian Championships and winner of the Ontario Cup series.

30km Skate:
Craig – 1st

53km Skate: Sheila – 4th ; Megan – 5th ; Karl – 6th
53km Classic: Wayne - 5th
30km Classic: Justin – 3rd ; Lindsay – 4th
15km Classic: Zoe - 2nd Junior Woman

Wayne Dustin focussed on loppets this year. Here he is doing the double 53k classic and 53k skate at the Gatineau Loppet.

Craig Storey won the Gatineau Loppet 30k skate.

Lindsay Los was 4th in the Gatineau Loppet 30km classic

Thea's Race: Megan - 1st; Sheila - 2nd; Karl - 1st.

Tour de Mont Valin Loppet: Wayne - 3rd

National Capital Division Points Series
Sheila – 1st senior woman
Zoe – 1st junior woman
Justin 1st senior man
Megan – 2nd senior woman
Karl – 2nd senior man

Ontario Cup Series
Alana Thomas – 1st junior woman

Sheila Kealey had a strong NorAm and local racing season

After these local races, we headed to Canadian Nationals at Whistler Olympic Park, site of the 2010 Olympics. The tricky wax conditions made tough courses even tougher, but once we figured out how NOT to wax (most of us used hairies), XC Ottawa athletes managed some strong performances in the final races (long distance classic), led by our junior woman Zoe Braul, who placed 5th Junior, and
top 10 Canadian performances by Megan (7th), Sheila (10th) and Karl (10th). Alana showed good form throughout the week, finishing 4th in the skate sprint and 5th in the 5k classic, as did Megan, who was 11th open women aggregate.

Zoe Braul got stronger throughout the year, and capped the season off with a 5th place finish at Nationals

XC Ottawa Western Contingent
When we weren’t racing out West, XC Ottawa was well represented by the McCarthy brothers. Ed was second overall senior man in the BC Cup series, highlighted by a 1st place at the BC Championships and 5th place in a classic sprint, and Tom won the Whistler Loppet.

Tom and Ed got the first views of the Whistler Olympic Park trails at the BC Cup.

Ski Community
Our commitment to the ski community continued by helping with Gatineau parkway closures, regular reports of ski conditions, promoting local ski events, writing articles with training and waxing tips for skiers, and hosting two races on Nakkertok’s great trails. We chose formats that most skiers don’t get the opportunity to race (a team sprint and a duathlon), and both events were quite popular.

Our Website
www.xcottawa.ca traffic continued to grow this year, and we were regularly attracting over 1,200 visitors a day this winter. Craig Storey is the mastermind behind all of this, and explained our website growth and statistics in this article.

We have many people to thank. First and foremost, coach John Suuronen, for his dedication, excellent coaching, waxing expertise, and getting up at crazy hours races mornings to ensure that we all had fast skis. This year he had excellent help from Judy Condliffe, Brian Suke, Graham Thomas, Eammon Watson, Alicia Berthiaume and Steve Bursey. We also want to thank all those who came out and volunteered for our two races. Our sponsors were also important to our successful year:

Lafleur de la Capitale
Podiumwear by Borah
Fresh Air Experience
Jessica Spring Illustration and Design
Vauhti Ski Wax
Infinity Ski Poles

Harry Nowell Photography Inc.
Owl Rafting and Madawaska Kanu Center
Clif Bar
Rudy Project

See you next year!

Interesting Reading. . .
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