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Nationals 2015 – Days 1 and 2 Recap
By:  XC Ottawa   (2015/03/18)


The 2015 National Championships in Thunder Bay are now underway, and there have been some great races so far. XC Ottawa athletes arrived in Thunder Bay for the races on Thursday, March 12th, and the first races started on Saturday the 14th.

National championships kicked off with the team sprint event. This race has teams of two athletes, each doing 3 laps of a 1.2 km course (freestyle technique). Some XC Ottawa athletes raced for XC Ottawa, while others represented their universities instead.

The day was warm and cloudy, and the snow was hard packed and fast. XC Ottawa athletes raced on Vauhti HF Yellow with a HFC 9.1 cover, and the skis were very fast. University athletes were the first athletes to race of the day, with Steffan Lloyd racing with Carleton teammate (and Nakkertok skier) Cary Pomeroy. The boys stayed with the leaders for the first couple laps, then dropped back a bit and finally settled for 4th position, narrowing beating Nippissing for 5th place. Kyla Vanderzwet raced with teammate Kendra Murray, and, after falling back due to an unfortunate fall were able to fight their way back into a 2nd place finish.

In the club categories, Arthur Ayers raced with XC Ottawa training partner and Carribean champion Mark Rajack. They raced well but unfortunately did not move on from the semi-final race to the finals. In the women, XC Ottawa put in 2 teams – Ingrid Hagberg/ Sheila Kealey, and Logan Hong/Katie Mcmahon. Both teams put in great efforts, ultimately finishing in 9th and 14th position respectively.

The next day, on Sunday, was the first individual race of the championships, the short distance freestyle event. The men raced for 10 km, while the women did a short 5 km. The weather was again warm, overcast and fast. XC Ottawa again raced on an Vauhti HF Yellow basewax, this time with an HFC 15.1 cover. The top male finisher of the day was Karl Saidla in 37th position (29th senior), closely followed by Steffan Lloyd in 44th position (35th senior), Arthur Ayers in 55th (44th senior), André Marchand in 67th (49th senior) and Mark Rajack in 96th (59th senior).

In the women’s race, Megan Mctavish had a very strong race, finishing in 23rd position, closely followed by an equally impressive 26th place finish by Ingrid Hagberg. Sheila Kealey put in a 31st place finish, Kyla Vanderzwet 36th, Long Hong 58th and Katie Mcmahon 68th.

Next up were the medium distance classic event and the classic sprint event. These will be covered next in a soon to be posted article!

Ingrid, Sheila and Katie after the team sprint.

Andre in the 10 km skate event.

Karl in the 10 km skate event.

Steffan in the 10 km skate event.

Arthur after his race.

Sheila in the 5 km skate event.

Sheila, Ingrid and Reijo Puiras, who we have to thank for all the fun trails at Lappe Nordic Ski Center for 2015 Haywood Ski Nationals.

Ingrid, Megan and Sheila after the 5 km skate.

Interesting Reading. . .
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