With the first week of training behind us and last year’s season faded to memories, XC Ottawa is already looking forward to the season to come. Right off the bat, we had our selection committee hard at work reviewing applicants and deciding our team for the year. While there have been some tearful goodbyes, we are looking forward to everything our new recruits can bring to the team.
The team in Whistler Olympic Park this year.
First off, we would like to say goodbye to Anna and Vesta, who are leaving the team. Anna will continue to bring her expertise to the emergency room in the Ottawa Civic hospital, and may also follow her passion of waxing. Vesta has pursued a job in Algonquin Park, where she will aid in several research projects, while frolicking with wolves and other wildlife. Hopefully we will continue to see Anna and Vesta on the trails, or even at some local races.
Vesta (far right) and Anna (far left) in Canmore, 2011.
For next year’s team, returning members are:
For returning members’ bios, click here
Most importantly, our coach, John Suuronen, is back with us for another year. We really appreciate all his contributions to the team and are looking forward to all the training he has planned for us.
New team members are:
Aaron Barter: A native to the Ottawa-area, Aaron spent the last five years pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He was named an OUA all-star twice, and matched his excellent university results finishing 28th and 36th in Senior Men at Easterns 2012, in the 30km classic and free sprint, respectively. With no school holding him back this year, Aaron plans to compete in skiing at a higher level, with top 20 finishes on the NORAM circuit.
Jessica Metuzals: Another Ottawa native, Jessica will be training with us for the summer before she returns to Queen’s University to begin her 3rd year of Environmental Science. She has represented Queen’s in nordic skiing, cross-country running, and rowing, and has reached high levels in many other sports. Through all these other sports, Jessica has discovered that her passion lies in skiing, and is looking forward to improving as much as possible during her time with XC Ottawa.
Liza Rozina: Liza has skied for Carleton for the past 3 years, and will be entering her 4th and final year in Civil Engineering. Liza is well known for her intense dedication to skiing and is a master at balancing the student-athlete life. Last year was a breakthrough year for her, as she won a bronze medal in the OUA relay and finished 40th Canadian in the 30km classic at nationals. Next year she hopes to gain experience and be named an OUA all-star.
Samuel Dostie-Ménard : Sam spent many years competing in both skiing and mountain biking before he decided to focus solely on skiing last summer. He has posted some impressive results, including a 6th place finish in the junior men’s classic sprint at 2011 nationals, and 6th place in the junior men’s skate sprint at eastern 2011. This year he will be taking Policing Techniques at Cégep de l’Outaouais and hopes to balance his school and skiing while continuing to train at a high level.
Sofia Attali: Sofia raced in both biathlon and skiing when she was younger, but quickly made the decision to focus on skiing. She has improved steadily over the years, being named multiple times to the Quebec Ski Team, and was part of the Canadian Junior National Team in 2010-2011. This year she will begin studying Criminology at the Univeristy of Ottawa. Sofia is looking to continue improving her skiing with XC Ottawa and has set her sights on qualifying for the U23 World Championships.
Stay tuned to our website for bios for our new team members, and a fresh flow of articles as the season starts.