Words by Frank Ackerman
It has been 21 months since the last cross country ski races for our Kimberley skiers. Despite this long hiatus, our young skiers have continued to show their dedication to the sport by training year round to improve their fitness and skiing technique.
This last weekend at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club (near Vernon), the competitive race season began with the first two Western Canada Cup races, with some of the best skiers from Canada and the USA racing. The energy was palpable, and many skiers were nervous since they had not raced in so long. But the Kimberley Nordic Racers came to the races prepared, and they delivered.
Saturday was the exciting sprint skate events, in which every Kimberley skier qualified to advance. Marielle Ackermann set a blistering qualifying time that was the second-best female time overall for the day, and she went on to dominate all her heats and the finals in her U20 age group, winning gold.
Her teammate Sadie Demars finished 13th overall in the same age group. Quinn Morgan, racing in the Open Women category, finished 7th overall. Nathan Savage and Raleigh Tarte, both racing for the first time at this venue, finished a very respectable 13th and 18th respectively in the competitive U20 Men’s category.
Sunday’s races were individual start classic distance races, with skiers racing on the World Cup 5km race loops. Our racers were just shy of the podium that day, with Quinn finishing in 6th in the Open Women’s category, and Marielle and Sadie racing to 4th and 15th positions in the U20 Women’s 10K race.
These strong results bode well for our skiers, and they are looking forward to more exciting racing next weekend at the next Western Canada Cup races hosted once again at Sovereign Lake.