Black Jack skier qualifies for Jr. World championship

Black Jack skier Remi Drolet, 16, beat out over 300 competitors in the Jr. Men's 10-km classic at the U.S. nationals.

Black Jack skier Remi Drolet raced to the top of the podium at the U.S. National Ski Championship in Soldier Hollow on Tuesday.

Black Jack skier Remi Drolet raced to the top of the podium at the U.S. National Ski Championship in Soldier Hollow on Tuesday.

Black Jack Ski Club’s Remi Drolet raced to first place in the 10-km Classic mass start on Tuesday at the U.S. Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah to qualify for the World Junior and U23 Ski Championship.

The 16-year-old Rossland skier finished almost 30 seconds ahead of his nearest U20 competitor in a time of 31 minutes and 41 seconds in a Canadian sweep of the medals, with Ryan Jackson of Thunder Bay’s Team Hardwood coming second and BC Ski Team’s Gareth Williams in third.

“I wasn’t quite expecting to qualify, but knew after I had a good race the first day, that the opportunity was there if I skied well in the mass-start,” Drolet said in a release. “I am proud to be representing Canada at the Championships and will ski as hard as I can.”

Racing in a field of over 300 skiers, Drolet’s finish capped off an epic week at Soldier Hollow where the young cross-country skier also placed fourth in the Jr. Men’s Interval Start, free technique on Sunday and was the fastest 16-year-old skier. Black Jack’s David Palmer also had a strong week, taking sixth in the Sr. Men’s Interval Start, free technique, and was the third fastest Canadian.

On Thursday, Black Jack’s Julien Locke, now skiing with the Alberta World Cup Academy, finished second in the free sprint to Canadian National Ski Team member Jesse Cockney.

The Black Jack Ski Team prepared for the high altitude of Soldier Hollow by training at Sun Valley, Idaho for a week prior to the event. The World Junior and U23 Ski Championship goes from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 at Soldier Hollow.