The Black Jack Ski Club welcomed some of the best cross-country skiers in North America on the weekend for the Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprint Series races as well as the Teck Kootenay Cup 1 and 2 event.
Close to 300 nordic skiers took to the newly refurbished Black Jack Ski Club for the big event, however, with warming conditions, the key for many competitors was in the wax.
In the NorAm 1.6-kilometre sprint the Americans took the top two spots with the U.S. Ski Team’s Erik Bjornsen taking gold with a sprint of three minutes and 35.28 seconds, while Sun Valley’s Miles Havlick came second and Graham Nishikawa of Whitehorse claimed bronze.
Former Black Jack skier Geoffrey Richards came 28th in the sprint, but improved to 25th in the open men’s 15-kilometre classic on Sunday, where National Ski Team member Kevin Sandau captured first in 42:08.4, and Nishikawa claimed another bronze. David Palmer was the top Black Jack skier in the 15-km classic coming in 21st, while Julien Locke finished 43rd.
In the Junior Men’s Mathew Saurette from the Rocky Mountain Racers won gold in the sprint, Angus Foster and Victor Hopper from Big Thunder Nordic came second and third respectively. Black Jack skier Daniel Merlo, as one of the youngest skiers in the race, came in 39th place, while placing second in the 7.5 km classic in the Kootenay Cup race.
Meanwhile, Kate Fitzgerald from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center captured gold in the senior women’s 10-km event, Whitehorse skier Emily Nishikawa came second and Canmore skier Amanda Ammar was third. However, Nishikawa sprinted to gold in the senior women’s 1.4-km free skate, with Calgary’s Heidi Widmer coming second and Quebecois Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt third.
In the Junior Women’s sprint Katherine Stewart-Jones of Nakkertok took top spot, while Whitehorse skier Dahria Beatty was second, and Anne-Marie Comeau of Club Nordique was third. Black Jack’s Nicole Perrin finished in 19th spot in the junior women’s sprint
In other Teck Kootenay Cup series races, Black Jack skiers finished with impressive results with Remi Drolet claiming first place in the Midget boys 2.5-kilometre free skate and 3.75-km classic.
Kelly Geisheimer nabbed first in the Master Women 30-39, with Jen Vogel taking second and Genevieve Fortin third, while Lesley Beatson picked up a silver medal in the Master Women.
In Master Men 40-49 Black Jack skier Aaron Scott came second in the 7.5-km mass start but claimed first in the 10-km Classic, while Seth Bitting claimed bronze in the 7.5 and silver in the 10-K classic.
In the 30-39 category Mathew Tonner won gold in both the 7.5 and 10 k races, while in the Junior Girl 7.5-k Chiaki Yamamoto captured gold and took third spot in the 5-k.
Rossland’s Abbey McLean won gold in the Pee Wee girls 1.4-km classic and bronze in the 1-km free. In the Pee Wee boys, Johann Taylor-Gregg captured silver in the 1-km free mass start and a a bronze in the 1.4 classic, Radek Krampl won silver in the 1.4 K, while Keegan Taylor took home bronze in the 1 k.
In the Atom 0.8 km. Classic Tarn Bazley won silver and Marek Krampl took home bronze.