Black Jack’s Jasmine Drolet raced to the top of the podium at the World Junior/U23 Nordic Championship Trials in Canmore on the weekend. Photo: Doug Stephens

Black Jack’s Jasmine Drolet raced to the top of the podium at the World Junior/U23 Nordic Championship Trials in Canmore on the weekend. Photo: Doug Stephens

Black Jack skiers excel at World Jr. and Olympic trials

Black Jack skiers Remi and Jasmine Drolet secure spot in World Jr./U23 Nordic Championship

Black Jack cross-country skiers Remi and Jasmine Drolet proved they are among the best in the nation at the 2022 Olympic and World Jr/U23 Championship Trials held in Canmore Jan. 6-9.

On Saturday, Remi, 21, finished first in U23 Men’s and second overall in the 15-km Classic, while Jasmine, 19, raced to first among Junior Women and fourth place overall in the 10-km Classic interval start.

The Rossland siblings topped the podium again in their respective categories on Sunday. Remi skied to first in U23, and fourth place overall in the 30-km skate-ski Classic.

Jasmine posted the fastest time in the 15-km skate-ski U20 category, which placed her third overall after stopping the clock at 40:47.7.

“I’m usually more of a classic skier so doing well in a skate race is a bit surprising for me, but I felt good today,” said Jasmine. “I was just working with the people around me to keep going fast today.

Jasmine and Remi will again qualify for the World Junior/U23 Nordic championships, and Remi also improved his chance for the alternate spot on the Winter Olympic men’s team.

“It feels really good,” Remi said. “This has been my main focus. I was really happy with my race today (Saturday) and happy I was able to put up a hard fight.

“I was very nervous coming into today. I think the past two weeks I have been the most nervous that I have ever been, but I’m going to keep working hard to get my name into consideration for that alternate Olympic spot.”

The siblings also competed in the Sprint free technique on Day-1 on Jan. 6 with Jasmine placing fourth in U20 and Remi seventh in U23.

Antoine Cyr and Katherine Stewart-Jones solidified their position as the top distance skiers in the country after winning the classic-ski interval start distant races on Saturday at Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.

The Quebecois skiers already pre-Qualified for the 2022 Olympics based on their steady results on the World Cup.

The 26-year-old Stewart-Jones also won the Women’s Open 15-k race on Sunday, with Cendrine Brown coming second, and likely earning a return trip to the Olympics.

Russell Kennedy won the Men’s Open 15-k interval start event, with Phillip Boucher placing second, and U20 racer Tom Stephen coming third.

In an ongoing effort to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, while providing a fair and competitive race, organizers changed Sunday’s distance race from its traditional mass start format to an individual start.

The National Trials wrapped up on Tuesday with the classic-ski sprint races, but the results were not available at press time.

Nordiq Canada has an Olympic quota of four female and three male athletes for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

To date, one female and three male athletes have met the Olympic criteria. The four races at the Olympic Trials will be used to select the remaining three female spots, as well as alternates for both men and women.

Five athletes from each gender will also be named to the World Junior Team and the Under 23 Team.

Nordiq Canada will release their Olympic Winter Games nominations on Jan. 18.

For full results of Black Jack competitors go to zone4.ca/ National Trials/Alberta Cup.