Once again Canadians showed up in mass at the Sparkling Hill Masters World Cup for the short course day of competition. The Canadian contingent sent 405 skiers to the start line throughout the day and finished with a total of 26 medals – five gold, nine silver and 12 bronze.
Canadian Nancy Burden led all female racers, 45-49 years in the 10 kilometre freestyle event with a time of 0:29:34.
British Columbian Pat Pearce (F55-59) of Sovereign Lake Nordic Club took her second gold in as many races during the 10km Classic held Monday morning at the Sparkling Hill Masters World Cup. “It was a really tough race today, but very exciting. I had people close to me that I could ski with, and trade off the lead.” The Vernon based skier held the lead for the first 4 km then handed it over to a competitor from Finland only to take it back at 6.5 km. “I took it back (the lead) and just decided I would give it everything I’ve got until the end, so it was a very good finish”.
When asked about home course advantage Pearce explained, “I absolutely feel that I have an advantage. I know the course; I know where I can pick up speed, I know where I can relax. I feel like it’s been a big advantage.”
Local Cross Country Ski Shop, Stussi Sport, received many accolades for their hard work and knowledge of waxing for these conditions. One gold medal winner commented that she had no idea what they did to her skies, she only knew they climbed hills very well and glided very fast.
American skier and bronze medalist in the 10 km Classic (F55-59), Ginny Price, on the race and course commented “It (the race) went pretty well, I felt smooth and strong. It was cold today, the snow was great and the course was fabulous.”
70 Vernonites came out to watch local celebrity and Olympian, Joe Derochie, racing in the 70 plus category. “The start was nice, I almost missed it. I set myself in to where I felt comfortable. Me and the Swede fella worked one against one another, and I caught him on a hill. My skis were well waxed. It was a good race.”
Other Canadians getting their week off to a solid start were Doris Hausleitner (F35-39), Marta Green (F30-34), Nikki Norri (F35-39), and Nancy Burden (F45-49) with gold medals. Canadian silver medals went to Mira Kunes (F30-34), Nikki Kassel (F35-39), Sheila Kealley (F45-49), Louise McGonigal (F65-69), Joren Dehile (M85+), Olav Stana (M55-59), Karine Perrin (F30-35), Shirley Granter- Button (F55-59) and Olwyn Ringheim (F80-84). Canadians collecting bronze were Kirk Howell (M35-39), Stefan Desfosses (M40-44), Gaetam Beaulieu (M55-59), Cathryn Rowley (F30-34), Marg Fedyna (F45-49), Lyle Wilson (M60-64), Sarah Purslov (F30-14), Carolyn Deubeny (F45-49), Theresa Gawron (F50-54), Eric Larsson (M80-84) and Alena Branda (F70-74). There are no races slated for Tuesday but will resume Wednesday with the 4 x 5km relay where countries will pick their best skiers to compete for national pride.
The 10 km Classic overall female winner was Liliya Vasilyeva (F40-44) of Russia in a time of 0:31:17. The 10 km Freestyle overall female winner was Nancy Burden (F45-49) of Canada in a time of 0:29:34. The 10 km Classic overall male winner was Biagio Di Santo (M30-34) from Italy in a time of 0:28:16. The 10 km Freestyle overall male winner was Pavel Petr (M40-44) of the Czech Republic in a time of 0:25:24.