Introducing Team XC Ottawa for 2009
By: Team XC Ottawa (2008/05/28)
Before we introduce the new team, it's only proper to thank the departing team members who have contributed so much to the team.
Tom McCarthy was instrumental to XC Ottawa's success. From helping to set up the team to making it run smoothly for the past 7 years. Heck, he even ran his own Western Bureau for awhile. He returned to Ottawa briefly, but he's back out West and likely staying there for the forseeable future. We haven't seen the last of Tom. I'm sure Tom will continue to run the Nakkertok Boxing Day Burnoff annually, as well as tear up a few Western sprint races. Thanks Tom.
Ed McCarthy followed his older brother Tom onto the team, and now out to the West Coast last season. Ed was also been a key team member for a number of years but finds himself busy with his school and life out West. We will surely see him out racing next year though and look forward to it.
Mid-season last year, just before the snow got really good in Ottawa, we lost our Australian team member, Andrew Wynd. Andrew's dedication to skiing, enthusiasm for racing, training and always working so hard to be his best was a big loss to the team. He is back in Melbourne, Australia recently married to Victoria and getting ready to race the Australian winter which starts in a few weeks!
Last year's new recruit Lindsay Los has decided to take a new direction with her skiing this year and will be a Para-Nordic guide, while continuing to race the university series. Lindsay was a big help to the team last year and was always in high spirits at the early morning practices in the fall.
Finally, Olympian Wayne Dustin has decided to once again take a step back from the serious side of racing after finding out that family life and an energetic toddler can be pretty hectic. We will surely see him out at loppets as one of many XC Ottawa alumni's who will continue to get out and give it their all on the race trails.
While these members will all be missed we will be filling the holes they leave with some new blood and energy. First, the returning members who are all household names. Megan McTavish and Sheila Kealey lead up the women's team with last year's graduating rookies Alana Thomas and Zoe Braul. On the men's side veterans Karl Saidla and Craig Storey are joined by Justin Demers.
And now for the A, B, Cs of the new recruits...
Somewhere between grade 11 and grade 12 Adele decided that not only did she like skiing, she wanted to do nothing but ski! Last season she moved from Eden Mills (outside of Guelph) to Collingwood to be closer to her Highlands Trailblazers team, coach and snow. It definitely paid off for her as she won her first Ontario Cup and Canadian Nationals medals. After the year off school she's decided it's time to hit the books again so will be going to Carleton and taking Environmental Studies when not skiing with XC Ottawa. Adele also enjoys drawing, indi music and cooking.
Brittany Pearson Smith
Brittany will make the move from Whitehorse to Ottawa for the coming season. She's been a part of the Yukon team coached by Alain Masson. It must be something in the water up there as Brittany has a pretty complete athletic resume for someone so young: success in competitive swimming, track, mountain biking and skiing. She represented the Yukon at the 2007 Western Canada Summer Games where she placed 8th in the 800m. At the 2008 Ski Nationals she placed 5th in the 5km freestyle. She plans to study commerce at Carleton in the fall.
Another Yukoner headed south, Colin shouldn't have a problem finding his way here. As a member of the Yukon Orienteering Team Colin qualified for last year's Junior World Orienteering Championships in Sweden by winning two bronze medals and a fourth in the men's 17-20 age group at the Canadian Orienteering Championships. This past season Colin followed up his summer's success with a 3rd place in the Junior Boys 15km Classic at Ski Nationals.
Danielle comes to us all the way from Kanata! Actually she's no stranger to us. She comes from a renowned local ski familly, and Danielle came to train with us a bit last winter after her coach Heinz passed away suddenly. Danielle is a strong classic skier with a 5th place (4th Canadian) in the 5km Classic race at the 2008 Nationals following on a 7th the previous year. Danielle will train with us this summer before heading off to expand her racing horizons next season on scholarship to the University of New Hampshire.
Matthias is a second year Carleton Environmental Studies student who raced for the Varsity Team last season. Matthias has a history of racing mountain bikes when the snow has melted, but has now taken a hiatus from that to focus on his skiing. Ski racing and school are Matthias' two main occupations, but in his spare time he likes to play the guitar and piano, partake in a few other sports such as paddling and cycling, and pursue things like reading and watching films.
Matthias follows a familiar path to XC Ottawa; ski and train for Carleton, watch the results improve and make the XC Ottawa team to race Canada Cups. This formula for success has been well tested by former team members Alicia Berthiaume, Gavin Hamilton and Eva Szabo among others. Matthias won the Gatineau Loppet 29km classic last winter, and we expect many more good results in the upcoming season.