Racing Action continued today in Duntroon, Ontario with the final selection sprint events for the upcoming FIS World Cup in Canmore, Alberta. Skiers will be selected based on their best 3 of 4 sprints from the early season Canada Cups. Today's sprint event was the last chance skiers had to shine!
It was another long day of racing for both athletes and coaches but in the end of the day, it was no big surprise as both Phil Widmer and Chandra Crawford, Canada’s top sprint specialists, won the day’s top prize on the podium.
The morning qualifiers showed no big surprises as all the main contenders were at the top of the list. Although they are no strangers to the senior ranks, juniors Alex Harvey and Frederic Touchette of CNEPH and Len Valjas of NTDC TBAY showed good speed by cracking into the top qualifying spots. Harvey, winner of the sprint event at the Val Cartier Canada Cup, is pre-qualified for the World Juniors and opted to compete in the Open category. Touchette qualified for the World Juniors with a victory on Thursday while Valjas is vying for his first World Juniors trip — both competed in the Junior category.
Men's Qualifying Results:
1. Phil Widmer – NST/ 2:29
2. Alex Harvey (Jr)- CNEPH/ +1
3. Stefan Kuhn – NST/ +4.1
4. Frederic Touchette (Jr) – CNEPH/ +4.3
5. Brent McMurtry – CNEPH/ +4.4
6. Len Valjas (Jr) – NTDC TBAY/ +4.7
7. George Grey – NST/ + 5.1
8. Skeets Morel – Indi2010/ +5.5
9. Drew Goldsack – NST/ +5.6
10. Chris Werrell – CVTC/ +5.7
Women's Qualifying Results:
1. Chandra Crawford – NST/ 2:53.5
2. Perianne Jones – NST/ +5.4
3. Sarah Renner – NST/ +6.8
4. Brooke Gosling – Team X-C.com/ +8.5
5. Andrea Dupont – Porcupine/ +10.3
6. Shayla Swanson – Team X-C.com/ +10.4
7. Dasha Gaiasova – NST/ +12.4
8. Kate Brennan – NTDC TBAY/ +14.9
9. Madeleine Williams – Fast Trax/ +15.5
10. Heidi Widmer (Jr) – FNSC/ +15.6
Full qualifying times at www.zone4.ca
As the heats got underway, the warming weather trend brought in a heavy snowfall which blanketed the 1.1km course. On the men’s side, all the main contenders moved on to the semis with no big hitches. Notable jumps up the field included Rocky Mountain Racers’ Ian Murray (12th qualifier) and X-C.com’s Chris Jeffries (18th qualifier) – Murray fought hard in his heat, beating out Widmer for a spot in the A final, while Jeffries tripped himself up dragging NST’s Grey along the way — both had to settle for the B-Final.
In the A-Final, Widmer took the holeshot and never looked back, leading from start to finish proving that he is ready for another crack at the World Cup!
On the women’s side, the heats proved entertaining as racers fought nerves and passion for their berth to the finals, not to mention a last shot at the WC selection. Both of X-C.com’s top qualifiers, Gosling (4th) and Swanson (6th), crashed themselves out of the A-Final on a tricky left-handed uphill. NST’s Crawford, Renner and Jones were the heats’ top finishers throughout the day and kept the battle right through to the finals. In the end, Crawford took the win, finishing just ahead of a hard charging Jones, who overtook the veteran Renner on the final climb.
Men’s A Final Results:
1. Phil Widmer — NST
2. Drew Goldsack — NST
3. Skeets Morel — Indi2010
4. Alex Harvey — CNEPH
5. Stefan Kuhn — NST
6. Ian Murray — RMR
Men’s B Final Results:
7. George Grey — NST
8. Brent McMurtry – CNEPH
9. Chris Jeffries — Team X-C.com
10. Jesse Winter — NTDC
11. Chris Werell — CVTC
12. Cam Egan — Team SilverStar
Women’s A Final Results:
1. Chandra Crawford — NST
2. Perianne Jones — NST
3. Sara Renner — NST
4. Madeleine Williams — Fast Trax
5. Amanda Ammar — NST
6. Andrea Dupont — Porcupine
Women’s B Final Results:
7. Shayla Swanson — Team X-C.com
8. Brooke Gosling — Team X-C.com
9. Kate Brennan — NTDC
10. Becky Puiras — Lappe Nordic
11. Jacqui Benson — Caledonia Nordic
12. Dasha Gaiasova — NST
Congratulations to the top Juniors of the day: Julien Nury (CNEPH) and Alysson Marshall (SilverStar Racing Team).
Non starters for todays event included NST's Sean Crooks (sickness), and Canada Cup Sprint Points leader Sarah Daitch (did not travel to Duntroon).
Racing action continues tomorrow with the men/women’s individual classic events. The warming weather trend is sure to make life difficult for technicians as light rain and +4C are in the forecast! Make sure to tune in
Phil Widmer (Photo Credit: X-C.com)