With rain on the day of, icy snow and a short, technical course for the skate sprint yesterday, it was inevitable that there would be crashes, drama and excitement. The qualifier was extremely quick with the fastest time for the men coming in at just over a minute forty. With a narrow course, lots of corners, treacherous snow conditions and flat light, a single mistake was all it would take to get bumped out of the top 30. With 6th to 80th only separated by 8 seconds, it was nip and tuck as to who would make the cut.
Karl Saidla, Matthias Purdon and Kyle Power all missed out on qualifying by mere seconds. Colin Abbott qualified as the 21st junior, but crashed in his quarterfinal and wasn't able to move on to the semis. Alana Thomas qualified as the 7th U23 skier. Megan qualified 19th overall and finished 23rd after the heats. Sheila, Anna and Danielle raced hard but got eliminated in the qualifier and didn't move on.
Katrina VanWijk of Nakkertok had a great day and finished the qualifier as the 2nd junior. She battled hard in the heats and ended up 4th! Andrew Stewart-Jones and Riel Allan skied well in the Junior Men's category finishing 3rd and 4th respectively. Nakkertok and Skinouk also made a good showing in the Juvenile categories with Emilie and Katherine Stewart-Jones finishing 2nd and 4th and Alexis Turgeon, Dominique Moncion-Groulx and Simon Lapointe sweeping the Juvenile boys podium.
The XCottawa crew will be racing again tomorrow in a 15km classic for the men and a 10km classic for the women. With a beautiful course set, lots of snow and warm temperatures it should be a good one!