December 21, 2010 – Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) announced Monday the student-athletes and coaches who will represent Canada in cross country skiing and biathlon at the 2011 Winter Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey. The 24th Winter World University Games will run from January 27 to February 6. The cross country skiing events get under way on Jan. 28, with the biathlon competitions kicking off a day later.
Heading the Canadian cross country skiing delegation in Erzurum will be Mary Waddell, who will act as team leader for the third straight Universiade. The coaching staff is comprised of head coach Mark Tierny and coaches Sara Nielsen and Kirk Potter.
The five-member women’s squad is made up of Carleton University’s Adele Lay, Laval’s Alexia Pichard-Jolicoeur, Utah’s Zoe Roy, Laurentian’s Mary Thompson and Alberta Augustana’s Maja Zimmermann.
Pichard-Jolicoeur of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., and Thompson of Woodstock, Ont., are both veterans of the 2009 Games in Harbin, China. Pichard-Jolicoeur had her best individual showing – a 37th place – in the 15 km mass start and also finished 40th in the 10 km pursuit, 41st in the sprint, 44th in the 5 km freestyle race and 12th in the team relay. Thompson was 44th in the pursuit, 45th in the mass start and 50th in both the sprint and freestyle.
On the men’s side, Canada is also sending five competitors including Laval teammates Benjamin Hébert and Vincent Ruel, Carleton’s Colin Abbott, UBC’s Jesse Heckrodt and Calgary’s Anthony Killick.
Canada won its lone Universiade medal in cross country skiing back in 1985 in Belluno, Italy, when the foursome of Alain Masson, Wayne Dustin, Owen Spence and Benoit Létourneau claimed bronze in the men’s 4×10 km relay.
In biathlon, most of the Canadian roster comes from the University of Alberta’s Augustana campus, including team leader Joan Skinstad and coach Hans Skinstad.
The women set to wear the maple leaf uniform are Augustana’s Lauren Brookes, Elizabeth Mawdsley, Carly Shiell and Kathryn Stone, while their male teammates will be Jonathan Forward, Alex Frost and Jon Skinstad, all of Augustana, as well as UBC’s Jaime Robb.
Stone of Camrose, Alta., and Forward of Corner Brook, Nfld., both have previous Universiade experience. Stone competed in 2009 in China and finished eighth in the mixed relay, 35th in the individual 15 km, 38th in the 10 km pursuit and 39th in the 7.5 km sprint. Forward was 41st in the 12.5 km pursuit and 48th in the 10 km sprint in 2007 in Turin, Italy.
Canada has never medaled at the Universiade in biathlon.
Canada’s participation in the Universiade is managed by the CIS International Programs.
Team Canada XC Skiing Roster and Schedule
– Colin Abbott – Carleton University – Whitehorse, Yukon
– Benjamin Hébert – Laval University –
– Jesse Heckrodt – University of British Columbia – Enderby, B.C.
– Anthony Killick – University of Calgary – Fort McMurray, Alta.
– Vincent Ruel – Laval University – Charny, Que.
– Adele Lay – Carleton University – Eden Mills, Ont.
– Alexia Pichard-Jolicoeur – Laval University – St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.
– Zoe Roy – University of Utah – Bracebridge, Ont.
– Mary Thompson – Laurentian University – Woodstock, Ont.
– Maja Zimmermann – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Edmonton, Alta.
– Team Leader: Mary Waddell, Laurentian University (Wahnapitae, Ont.)
– Head Coach: Mark Tierney (Corner Brook, Nfld.)
– Coach: Sara Nielsen, University of Alaska Anchorage (Whitehorse, Yukon)
– Coach: Kirk Potter (Whitehorse, Yukon)
Schedule (local time)
– Jan. 28 (10:00): Women’s individual 5 km
– Jan. 28 (11:00): Men’s individual 10 km
– Jan. 29 (9:00): Women’s & Men’s sprint (qualifications)
– Jan. 29 (11:00): Women’s & Men’s sprint (finals)
– Jan. 31 (10:00): Women’s pursuit without break (5 km classic & 5 km freestyle)
– Jan. 31 (10:00): Men’s pursuit without break (7.5 km classic & 7.5 km freestyle)
– Feb. 2 (11:00): Women’s relay 3 x 5 km (classic, freestyle, freestyle)
– Feb. 2 (12:00): Men’s relay 4 x 10 km (classic, classic, freestyle, freestyle)
– Feb. 3 (10:00): Mixed team sprint
– Feb. 5 (10:00): Women’s 15 km mass start (freestyle)
– Feb. 5 (11:00): Men’s 30 km mass start (freestyle)
Team Canada Biathlon Roster and Schedule
– Jonathan Forward – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Corner Brook, Nfld.
– Alex Frost – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Edmonton, Alta.
– Jaime Robb – University of British Columbia – Hay River, N.W.T.
– Jon Skinstad – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Camrose, Alta.
– Lauren Brookes – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Halifax, N.S.
– Elizabeth Mawdsley – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Fort Smith, N.W.T.
– Carly Shiell – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Camrose, Alta.
– Kathryn Stone – University of Alberta (Augustana) – Camrose, Alta.
– Team Leader: Joan Skinstad, University of Alberta – Augustana (Camrose, Alta.)
– Coach: Hans Skinstad, University of Alberta – Augustana (Camrose, Alta.)
Schedule (local time)
– Jan. 29 (10:00): Men’s individual 20 km
– Jan. 29 (13:00): Women’s individual 15 km
– Feb. 1 (10:00): Men’s sprint 10 km
– Feb. 1 (13:00): Women’s sprint 7.5 km
– Feb. 2 (10:00): Men’s pursuit 12.5 km
– Feb. 2 (12:00): Women’s pursuit 10 km
– Feb. 4 (10:00): Mixed relay (2 x 6 km women & 2 x 7.5 km men)
– Feb. 5 (10:00): Men’s mass start 15 km
– Feb. 5 (12:00): Women’s mass start 12.5 km
Ben Theyerl was born into a family now three-generations into nordic ski racing in the US. He grew up skiing for Chippewa Valley Nordic in his native Eau Claire, Wisconsin, before spending four years racing for Colby College in Maine. He currently mixes writing, politics, and skiing (not necessarily all related) while based out of Crested Butte, CO, where he coaches the best group of high schoolers one could hope to find.