Canadians Beckie Scott, George Grey Stomp Field at Season Opening Haywood NorAm Canada Cup

FasterSkierNovember 29, 2003

From Cross Country Canada:

Vernon, B.C.—The snow is covering the ground, the tracks are set and the names of the winners in the opening event of the 2003-04 Haywood NorAm Canada Cup campaign are in the history books.

Canada’s Beckie Scott of Vermilion, Alta. and George Grey of Rossland, B.C. powered their way to the top of the podium through the 10 and 15 kilometre classic events at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club on Silver Star Mountain near Vernon, B.C. on Thursday. 

Scott continued her dominance of the women’s North American cross-country ski scene after crossing the line first, posting a time of 31 minutes 56 seconds in the 10 kilometre women's event. Scott and teammate Sara Renner of Canmore, Alta., who are both taking their final tune-up races this week in Canada before heading to Europe for the World Cup season, were well ahead of the pack of 35 athletes representing Canada, Russia and the United States. Renner, who completed a strong race, narrowed the gap between herself and Canada’s first Olympic cross-country ski medalist, grabbing the silver medal position 24 seconds behind Scott.

Dasha Gaiazova of Montreal was the next fastest to cross the line +2:23 behind the leader. Canada’s Milaine Theriault of St. Quentin, N.B., who was competing in her first race since delivering a baby this year, finished fourth +3:06 off the pace.

Meanwhile, on the men’s side of the field, Canada’s George Grey transferred his strong early-season training onto the 15 kilometre course, capturing the opening event of the year. The 24-year-old Grey posted a time of 39 minutes 12 seconds for the victory.

“It is certainly a good feeling to stomp down some authority early and get the season off to a fast start,” said Grey, who is expected to be one of the leaders on the Canadian men’s team throughout the season. “It’s early in the season, the competition is going to get stronger, and I have to continue to work hard to improve, but this is a great start.”

Sandwiched between two Canadians on Grey’s heels was Russian Ivan Babikov, who finished +8.6 seconds behind. Canada’s Chris Jeffries of Chelsea, Que. rounded out the top-three in a field of 75 athletes one minute four seconds behind the leader.

Canada’s junior athletes also faired well in the opening event of the season. Viktoria Koskenoja of Sault-Ste Marie, Ont. was the top junior female on the day, finishing +4:10 off Beckie Scott’s leading mark, while Dave Nighbor of North Bay, Ont. was the top junior male on the day finishing 1:41 behind Grey.

The Haywood NorAm Canada Cup, the best developmental series for cross-country skiing on the continent, continues on Friday with the sprint competition, which is also the opening event of the Madshus Sprint Series. Designed to encourage and promote Canadian cross-country skiers as sprint specialists, the series awards athletes with instant cash for podium results.

Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada. Its 45,000 members are athletes, coaches and officials, including members of the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team and Canadian Disabled Cross-Country Ski Team. Cross-country skiing is Canada’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than two million Canadians participating annually.

<Pictures can be found here.

Complete Results at Zone4

Women: 10 Kilometre Classic

Name                          Hometown                 Time Behind

1. Beckie Scott             Vermilion, Alta.              (leading time 31.56)
2. Sara Renner             Canmore, Alta.              +:24
3. Dasha Gaiazova       Montreal                        2:23
4. Milaine Theriault        St. Quentin, N.B.           3:06
5. Chandra Crawford    Canmore, Alta.              3:52
6. Viktoria Koskenoja    Sault-Ste Marie, Ont.     4:10 (top junior)

Men: 15 Kilometre Classic

Name                          Hometown                 Time Behind
1. George Grey         Rossland, B.C.            — (leading time 39.12)
2. Ivan Babikov            Russia                           +:8.6
3. Chris Jeffries          Chelsea, Que.                1:04
4. Devon Kershaw      Sudbury, Ont.                 1:15
5. Gordon Jewett        Toronto                            1:24
6. Drew Goldsack       Red Deer, Alta.               1:28
7. Dave Nighbor          North Bay, Ont.               1:41 (top junior)

Chris Dornan
Media and Public Relations
Cross Country Canada
T: 403-247-5423


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