Best of Canadian Nationals: Photos and Quotes

BrainspiralApril 6, 2015
A happy spectator at 2015 Canadian Ski Nationals at Lappe Nordic in Thunder Bay, Ontario. (All photos: Martin Kaiser)
A happy spectator at 2015 Canadian Ski Nationals at Lappe Nordic in Thunder Bay, Ontario. (All photos: Martin Kaiser)

Canadian Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay, Ontario, capped off the 2014/2015 domestic season in Canada from March 14-21. Here are some of our favorite photos and athlete comments from the weeklong series at the Lappe Nordic Centre, courtesy of Martin Kaiser. (Quotes collected via email by Gerry Furseth and François Léger Dionne.)

Recaps: Open freestyle team sprints | Senior 5/10 k skate, 10/15 k classic & classic sprints | Senior 30/50 k freestyle mass starts

On highlights:

“I was really happy to get my first senior national title in the 5km free. I didn’t get any splits until 4k so I didn’t know how it was going results wise but I was pushing as hard as I could and made sure to race the first portion that was flatter like a sprint prologue so I wouldn’t give up too much time before the climbing. … There have been lots of great moments this week but I have to say my favourite was when Peri [Jones] came over to me at the end of the 5k free and told me that I had won. ” Dahria Beatty (AWCA/NST-U23), who beat World Cup veteran Perianne Jones by 3.7 seconds in the women’s 5 k skate

“One of my favourite moments was when [teammate] Peri [Jones] came across the finish line in second in the team sprint. It was an amazing feeling to have won a medal with someone who has been a[n] inspiration for me for a very long time.”Katherine Stewart-Jones (Nakkertok/NST-Junior Team), 2nd in the freestyle team sprint with Perianne Jones

“I think my favorite moment was seeing all my friends again after a long time being gone in Europe for racing. Seeing faces I know everywhere and talking to people I know was really nice. And I also really enjoyed hearing my name when people were cheering during races. Being back home, this feeling is just great!”Cendrine Browne (CNEPH/NST-U23), 3rd in 10 k classic and 30 k freestyle mass start


On exceeding goals:

“My focus events were the skate races.  The team sprint, 10km and 50km.  I can’t believe I was able to win gold in all three.”Michael Somppi (AWCA/NST-Dev.), 1st place in the freestyle team sprint, 10 k freestyle and 50 k freestyle mass start at 2015 Canadian Nationals


On beating World Cup veteran Ivan Babikov in the 50 k freestyle mass start:

“When we neared the final kms it was apparent Ivan’s legs were cramping up and as we crested over the 2nd last big climb I noticed I had a small gap on him.  So I just blasted with everything I had left and opened up a good margin to the finish line … It was just an amazing feeling coming into the finish with the home crowd cheering me on.  Maybe that’s what helped me feel so good … and really, this whole week.” — Somppi


On overcoming adversity:

“In the qualifier I broke a binding on the last hill so I had to stop and put it back on, which took about a minute and a half. Luckily, there were only 28 girls in the race so I qualified anyway with bib number 28. I was pretty rattled after breaking a binding but I managed to calm down and focus on the heats. I knew that before I had broken the binding my race had been going well so I was confident that I could ski well in the heats. Because of my low bib number, I was put in the hardest quarter-final and in the hardest semi-final and was lucky looser in both of the races, At that point, I was pretty relieved to have made the final. Overall I am happy with my fourth place because I skied as hard as I could and I am happy with how I skied.” — K. Stewart-Jones, 4th in junior women’s classic sprint


On a long season:

“[It] feels like travel and all 180km of racing that I’ve done in the past 4 weeks finally [caught] up to me.” — Ivan Babikov (Canadian World Cup Team)

“I’m skiing as fast as I can and with all the energy that I have left.” — Browne, 3rd in 10 k classic

“Considering my lead-up to Nationals wasn’t ideal, with racing in Lahti the weekend beforehand and traveling back to Canada on Monday, I’m happy with the consistency of my performances.” — Somppi


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