Haywood Ski Nationals – A fun and successful day at the team Sprints
By: Sheila Kealey (2010/03/15)
The team sprint was the opening event for the 83rd Haywood ski nationals, and over 130 teams contested 6 team sprint categories. The weather was a bit warmer than we expected for Whitehorse (+4 deg), and this made for great hanging around and spectating. The team sprint is a exciting format to race and watch: a group of athletes races head to head over a sprint course, then tags off to a partner, both racing the sprint loop (in this case 1.2 km) 3 times. For the athlete, it’s like an intense interval session of about 3 minutes on/3 minutes off X 3 -but a lot more fun!
Alana, Anna, and Adele enjoying the great day
XC Ottawa athletes paired up with
Nakkertok for impressive victories for Carleton U in the University Category,
with Alana Thomas pairing up with Adele Lay to win the women’s event, and Colin
Abbott paired with Steffan Lloyd to win the men’s event. Matthias and Andre Marchand finished 4th,
and Kyle and Lee placed a close 6th.
The Open Women's category was popular with 17 teams entered – which made for a longer day for the athletes who raced heats and finals. Megan and Sheila had a great race, qualifying for the final, and finishing 7th overall. Foothills Nordic won the event with Canmore Nordic placing second after an exciting finish between Olympians Chandra Crawford (Canmore Nordic) and Perianne Jones (Nakkertok).
Team sprints make a long day for the waxing team – who have to keep testing grip and glide throughout the day and rewax skis for the changing conditions of afternoon finals. Thanks to tireless coaches John Suuronen and John Langstone for this!
This was a great tune up for our next classic race Tuesday – 5km for the women, 10km for the men. So far the organizers are doing a terrific job, with friendly volunteers, great food for the athletes and coaches, and fun race courses.
Here are some more pictures of the racing . . .
Open women waiting for their partners