-Alex Harvey, son of Olympian Pierre Harvey, follows in father’s tracks-
Canmore, Alta-Canada’s reigning junior women’s cross-country ski champion, Perianne Jones of Almonte, Ont., will lead a solid group of six elite athletes when they compete with the world’s best at the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Rovaniemi, Finland, March 21-26, 2005.
The 20-year-old powerhouse, who dominated the Canadian Championships earlier this month in Prince George, B.C. – completing a gold medal hat trick by winning all three junior women’s individual races – is looking to cap off her sensational season with a top-10 result at the junior world championships.
“Last year I ended up 13th in the sprint, and I will definitely be looking to better my performance,” said Jones, who will be competing in her third, and final, world junior championships. “The senior team has set an amazing standard for us, and hopefully we can follow in their footsteps.”
Jones will be joined on the junior women’s team by budding star, Amanda Ammar of Edmonton, Alta., who at 19 years of age has been consistently earning podium finishes throughout the Haywood NorAm Canada Cup circuit this season.
Cross Country Canada will also follow the international tracks of five junior men at this year’s premier junior event. Brent McMurtry of Calgary and Chris Werrell of Burns Lake, B.C., will both strap on the skis at the junior world championships for the second consecutive year. The two male Canucks are both expected to make an impact among the globe’s top junior skiers. McMurtry, 18, has been making significant strides on Canada’s junior team and keeping pace with senior athletes racing in domestic competitions throughout the season. Werrell, 20, has established himself as the top junior sprinter in the country.
“The level of competition for men in Canada, with both the junior and senior teams, is definitely being raised,” said Alain Parent, head coach, Canadian Junior Cross-Country Ski Team. “It has taken a while, but we are developing an incredibly strong group of talented cross-country skiers, who will continue to develop as they respond to the influence of racing at the international level.”
Three other men will be making their debut at the junior world championships this year. Alex Harvey, of St. Fereol des Neiges, Quebec, the son of legendary Canadian cross-country skier, Pierre Harvey who captured three World Cup medals in the 1980s, is quickly becoming a young face to watch. The 16 year old Harvey will be looking to begin a track of international medals for himself when he makes his world championship debut in Finland. Joining Harvey is Calgary’s Justin Kangarloo and Chris Butler of Thunder Bay, Ont., who both exhibited exceptional results at the Canadian Championships, securing them each a coveted spot on the junior squad.
“There is a feeling of confidence and expectation that has grown over the past few years since Beckie Scott’s success at Salt Lake City. We are definitely building on that,” said Parent. “We’re shooting for top-16 results. With the talented athletes that Cross Country Canada has selected for this year’s world championships, we definitely have that potential. And the potential will only improve in the next couple of years.”
The following is a breakdown of athletes that will represent Canada at the 2005 World Junior Ski Championships, March 19-26 in Rovaniemi, Finland.
Perianne Jones Almonte, Ont.
Amanda Ammar Edmonton
Brent McMurtry Calgary
Chris Werrell Burns Lake, B.C.
Justin Kangarloo Calgary
Alex Harvey St. Fereol des Neiges, Que.
Chris Butler Thunder Bay, Ont.
Source: Cross Country Canada