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2007 Ski Nationals Report #2 - Skate
By:  Brian Suke   (2007/03/20)


This Tuesday saw the XCOttawa team compete in the first distance event of the 2007 National Championships at Mount Ste-Anne, Quebec. The men would participate in a 2 lap 10km skating competition while the women raced a single 5km lap. 10cm of fresh snow the previous night and more falling throughout the morning made for a soft course and soupy climbs on the course. However our trusty waxing team of John Surronen and Liam Watson rose to the challenge and provided excellent skis for the racers. John and Liam settled on a base of Vauhti Spektra Blue covered with a combination of Vauhti Zero Fox and Gold Fox fluoro powders.

The men departed under high winds and snow at 15 second intervals. Gavin Hamilton was coming off excellent races in Whitehorse at the Canada Winter games and continued with a solid performance over the 10km. Despite battling a cold he finished a respectable 38th 29:04, 3min off the leaders. Karl Saidla had the top XCOttawa finish coming 31st in 28:47. Tom McCarthy was just edged out by Gavin finishing 41st in 29:12. Brian Suke was 47th and Edward McCarthy skied a strong second lap to finish 52nd. Craig Storey was just off Ed by 30 seconds and finished in 61st, just ahead of Werner Schwar who is competing in his 24th National Championships. The field of 99 men was easily one of the most competitive at a Canadian Championships. The top finishers of the day were Dan Roycroft in 1st, followed by Chris Jefferies and Ivan Babikov.

The women’s race immediately followed the men’s, which meant the waxing was identical and remained very fast. Megan McTavish returned to top form with a very strong 14th place finish. She was able to come out on top of some very fast women in a deep field. Sheila Kealey was only 7 seconds back of Megan in 16th position on the grueling 5km course. The women’s field was won by Dasha Gaizova, followed by Madeleine Williams and Perianne Jones. 

The entire XCOttawa team was very happy with their results from Tueday’s race. The snow and weather in Quebec remains excellent and will hopefully hold for the remainder of the week. So far the 2007 nationals are shaping up to be an outstanding finish to the racing season.


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