Black Jack skiers competed against over 200 competitors from across North America on the weekend with great results at the Haywood NorAm Buff Sprints Mini Tour at the Black Jack Ski Club.
Black Jack’s Julien Locke, a member of the National Ski Team, and Remi and Jasmine Drolet all skied to the podium as part of the ski team’s impressive display at the three-day event.
“It was a good weekend for the club for sure,” Fred Bushell, Black Jack’s Track Attack coach told the Rossland News. “Lots of best efforts. Some of the kids were skiing up — they were younger and they were skiing, so they’re skiing against older kids — so it was a challenge for them, but they rose to it and they performed really well and had fun doing it.”
Remi Drolet, a 16-year-old Rossland skier, was the youngest racer competing in the Junior Mens field, and had staggeringly good performances. Remi improved throughout the weekend coming sixth on Friday in the 15-km Interval Start free skate, with Gareth Williams of the BC Ski Team taking gold, Philippe Bocher of Quebec silver, and Canmore Nordic’s Reed Godfrey bronze. Black Jack skier Daniel Merlo finished 15th in the race.
Not to be outdone, Jasmine Drolet raced to a fourth-place result in Juvenile Girls 5-km Interval start, with Black Jack’s Sophie Edney coming seventh. Novic McCabe from the Methow Valley Ski Club raced to first with a time of 16:15.5.
In the Men’s Open, Thunder Bay skier Evan Palmer-Charrette claimed gold in a time of 40:36.7, with Russell Kennedy of Canmore second, and Erik Carleton of Rocky Mt. Racers bronze. Black Jack skier David Palmer did not compete because of illness, while Locke finished in 18th.
APU Nordic’s Chelsea Holmes claimed gold in the Sr. Womens 10-K, while Hollyburn Ski Club’s Annika Richardson won Junior Womens, with Black Jack’s Sage Robine finishing in 11th.
On Saturday, Remi skied to a fourth-place finish in the Jr. Boys 1.4-km sprint, with Godfrey taking gold in 2:56.03, while Jasmine skied to a fifth place result in the 2.8 km Juvenile Girls race, with Sophie Ednie placing seventh.
Locke, racing in his strongest event, captured silver losing out to U.S. Ski Team member Andrew Newell who clocked a blistering 2:44.84. Palmer-Charette won the bronze.
But both Jasmine and Remi saved their best for last on Sunday. Jasmine skied to a silver medal in 24:42.0 in the 6.6 km. mass start with McCabe claiming gold, and Sydney Wilson of Kimberley capturing bronze.
“I just came up from midget to juvenile, so it’s a little bit harder, but I think I’m doing pretty good,” Jasmine said.
In the Junior Mens, Remi skied to a bronze medal in the 15-km mass start in 46:57.3, just behind Williams who won his second gold, and the Yukon’s Caelan Pangman McLean, who took silver.
Thunder Bay’s Katherine Stewart-Jones won the Open Womens 10-k handicap start classic while Quebec skier Alexis Dumas raced to gold in the Open Mens 15-km classic.