Press Release – Cross-Country Canada:
November 25, 2004
Vernon, B.C.-Beckie Scott hit the start line for the first time since
announcing her commitment to racing for Canada through to the 2006 Olympic
Winter Games, and picked up exactly where she left off – stepping on top of
the podium at the season-opening Haywood Canada Cup event on Thursday.
The Vermilion, Alta. native, who last stepped on top of the podium in June
when she was finally awarded her Olympic gold medal in Vancouver, claimed
the women's 10-kilometre skate ski race at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Cup on
Silver Star Mountain near Vernon, B.C. in a time of 24 minutes 48.4 seconds.
“It was really exciting to be back on snow in Canada and racing in this
country,” said Scott. “It has been an interesting year and I had
reservations about expectations, but I am completely refreshed and motivated
to be at home. I'll never take racing on home snow for granted again and I
look forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Competing on a reduced schedule for the pre-Olympic season, Scott has been
training in Bend, Ore. with personal coach, Torbjorn Karlsen and husband,
Justin Wadsworth, in preparation for the World Cup schedule, which faces the
veteran of the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team in January and the 2005 World
Championships in Germany.
Joining Scott on the podium in the women's event was 11-year veteran of the
national squad, Milaine Theriault of St. Quentin, N.B., who completed the
track with a time of 26:07.5, while Tasha Betcherman of Thunder Bay, Ont.
rounded out the top three after posting a time of 27:01.2.
Meanwhile, Chris Jeffries of Chelsea, Que. led the pack of Canadian men
around the 15-kilometre track on Silver Star Mountain. The 26-year-old
powered his way to the finish in a time of 34:58.8.
“It was a great race today and extremely tight for four laps when I found
the power to bust loose,” said Jeffries, who added it was difficult
conditions throughout the day. “I have been getting increasingly stronger in
training every day since June and feeling better and more comfortable on my
skis than ever before. It is an awesome start to the season.”
Jeffries will be heading to the World Cup with Scott following the holiday
season. The men's event was a race to the wire. Close on Jeffries heels was
Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., who claimed the silver with a time of
35:47.5. Two Red Deer, Alta. athletes shared the final spot on the podium.
Drew Goldsack and Kit Richmond posted equal times at 36:08.3.
Beckie Scott's World Cup comrade, Sara Renner of Canmore, Alta., will be
competing on the world's premiere cross-country ski circuit on Friday in
Europe. The rest of the Canadian team will hit the start line in Silver Star
on Saturday for the pursuit race.
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 one million Canadians
COMPLETE RESULTS: www.sovereignlake.com
Top-Five Women's Results: (10 Kilometre Skate)
1.Beckie Scott, Vermilion, Alta., 24.48.4;
2. Milaine Theriault, St.
Quentin, N.B., 26:07.5;
3. Tasha Betcherman, Thunder Bay, Ont., 27:01.2;
4.Perianne Jones, Almonte, Ont., 27:05.5;
5. Becky Laakso, Thunder Bay, Ont.,
Top-Five Men's Results: (15 Kilometre Skate)
1.Chris Jeffries, Chelsea, Que., 34.58.8
2. Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont.,35.47.5
3. Drew Goldsack, Red Deer, Alta. and Kit Richmond, Red Deer,
5. Robin McKeever, Calgary, 36:10.9.