NorAm Trials (Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec): Freestyle sprint
The Mont Sainte-Anne (MSA) NorAm weekend continued Tuesday with freestyle sprints, which counted toward Junior and U23 World Championships team selection only.
In the women’s 1.3-kilometer sprint, Dahria Beatty, of the Canadian World Cup Team and Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA), won every heat to take her second win of the MSA NorAm, after winning Friday’s classic sprint. According to a timing error, in which the clock was started well before athletes left the start, the A-final was more than a minute slower than the fastest heat of the day (the second semifinal, which Cendrine Browne won in 3:34.33, ahead of Zina Kocher in second). Beatty won the final with a time listed as 4:39.44.
“Most definitely we did not ski that much slower, if it was slower,” Kocher wrote in an email after the race. “My legs were on fire & we were all fighting to give it everything!”
Monday’s skiathlon winner, Browne, of the national U25 Team and Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre (CNEPH), took second overall, 0.52 seconds back, and Kocher (Foothills Nordic) rallied for her first podium of the week in third (+2.44). The day’s fastest qualifier, Maya MacIsaac-Jones, of the U25 Team and Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR) finished the day in fourth (+2.93), Laura Leclair (CNEPH) followed in fifth (+4.78), and Sophie Carrier-Laforte (Skinouk) finished sixth (+30.43).
Annika Richardson, of the Canadian national junior team and National Team Development Centre (NTDC) Thunder Bay, won the junior women’s sprint in 3:42.10, ensuring a return to Junior World Championships this year. Elizabeth Elliott (Revelstoke Nordic) finished 3.27 second back in second, and junior qualification winner Catherine Reed-Métayer (Skibec/National Junior Team) reached the podium in third, 4.9 seconds back.
In the men’s 1.35 k skate sprint, World Cup Team member Jess Cockney won the A-final by a commanding 3.5 seconds in 2:56.39, ahead of Andy Shields (Lappe Nordic) in second. Bob Thompson (NTDC Thunder Bay) continued his consistent season in third place (+4.1). Olivier Hamel (CNEPH) followed in fourth (+8.93), Monday’s skiathlon winner Knute Johnsgaard (World Cup Team) finished fifth (+14.9), and Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier (CNEPH) placed sixth (+35.77).
Johnsgaard won the qualifying round in 2:57.37, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Hamel in second. Thompson was 2.46 seconds back in third.
In the junior men’s A-final, Antoine Cyr (CNEPH) took his second consecutive win, finishing first in 3:03.81. Graham Ritchie (NTDC Thunder Bay) placed second (+1.2) and Étienne Hébert (AWCA) third (+1.99).