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XCOttawa Skiers win 2006 Canadian Rollerski Championships!
By:  Team XCOttawa   (2006/10/04)

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1st Canadian Roller Ski Champions

  • Open Men: Craig Storey, XCOttawa.ca
  • Open Women:Sheila Kealey, XCOttawa.ca
  • Junior Men: Benjamin Herbert
  • Junior Women: Sophie Boyer

This past weekend the Gatineau Park played host to the Canadian Rollerski Championships. The event was a three-stage race; prologue, long distance race, and sprint. The events were jointly coordinated by Cross Country Canada and the Keskinada organization, whose long-standing Keski Climb event doubled as the long distance race for the championships.

As the name suggests, the prologue was similar to the kick-off race of a multi-stage cycling event; short, flat, and fast. Younger skiers raced 4km, while the Open categories raced 6km. The route was 3 laps out and back along Blvd de la Technologie in Gatineau and took place under the street lights with a 7pm start. The road surface and tight turn arounds made it exciting for skiers and spectators alike.

In the Open Women's event, XCOttawa's Megan McTavish skied to the top of the podium, posting a time of 14:32 in the 6 km event while teamate Sheila Kealey finished a mere 18 seconds behind to take the silver. In the junior woman's race Sophie Boyer (11:10) of Quebec, out skied Caroline Drolet (11:49) and Camille Pepin (12:11) to take the 4 km race.

On the men's side XCOttawa's Craig Storey dominated the open men's competition winning in a time of 12:05.4. Chris Mamem of Carleton University (12:45) and Gavin Hamilton of both XCOttawa and Carleton (12:47) rounded out the podium in a spirited battle for 2nd and 3rd positions. This puts Gavin up 1-0 in the season long competition with buddy and teammate Chris.

The prologue set the stage for the National Championship 20 km Keski Climb on Saturday morning. Craig Storey used the Gavin-Chris rivalry to his advantage to claimed his second victory of the championships while Sheila Kealey beat Meagan Mctavish in the 20km climb up the Gatineau and Champlain Parkways to claim the pursuit title. The results of the mass start format were combined with the times from the Friday evening prologue to determine a pursuit champion.

The Championship ended Saturday afternoon with dynamic sprint races over 200 metres. The head to head knock-out heats featured a photo finish in the Junior Menís final between Aggregate winner Benjamin Herbert and Mathieu Fortin. In the Menís Open class Renald Briere of Mirable, Quebec out sprinted Pierre-Olivier Dorego for the top spot while Craig Storey finished third. Sophie Boyer of St. Bruno collected her third gold of the Championships in the Junior Womenís class.

Additionally, the popular 'Keski Climb', which is an off-shoot event of the Keskinada Loppet, counted 150 participants who each took part in one of the different types of races; such as roller skiing, cycling, in-line skating and running.

Fresh Air Experience was the sponsor for the Championships, providing over $1,500 in prizes for the top 3 in each category.

Huge thanks to the Keskinada organizers and volunteers, CCC's Tony Daffern, Mike Collingwood, Jim McCarthy, Jacques Dumont, and all the volunteers who make these events possible!

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