(Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Evan Palmer-Charrette won his second national title last weekend.)
2018 Canadian Ski Nationals (Thunder Bay, Ontario): 30/50 k classic mass starts
On the final day of racing at Canadian Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay, two National Team Development Centre (NTDC) Thunder Bay athletes topped the podium on their local trails at the Lappe Nordic Centre on Saturday. Katherine Stewart-Jones and Evan Palmer-Charrette won national titles in the women’s 30-kilometer and men’s 50 k classic mass starts, respectively.
Stewart-Jones, 22, who is also a Canadian National U25 Team member, won the women’s 30 k for her first national title by 2.3 seconds over Annika Hicks of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) with a time of 1:33:50.7 hours. NTDC Thunder Bay had two women on the podium with Alannah Maclean finishing third, 10.2 seconds behind her teammate. Stewart-Jones had previously placed second in the freestyle sprint last Wednesday at nationals.
“Am I happy or am I happy????” Stewart-Jones, 22, wrote on Instagram following her win “Beyond stoked to finally get a National Champs Title in the 30km”
Stewart-Jones also started the week with a win in the classic team sprint with Nakkertok club teammate Zoë Williams on March 10.
Also in the top 10 of Saturday’s 30 k, Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt of Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR) raced to fourth (+18.3), Frédérique Vézina of the Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre (CNEPH) placed fifth (+19.2), American Caitlin Gregg finished sixth (+1:25.5), Sadie White (NTDC Thunder Bay) was seventh (+2:48.3), Williams (Nakkertok) eighth (+3:40.4), Laurence Dumais (AWCA) ninth (+4:30.4), and Katie Weaver (Hollyburn) 10th (+6:47.7).
In the men’s 50 k, Palmer-Charrette, 23, who grew up racing at Lappe Nordic, tallied his second-straight podium (after placing third in the skate sprint) with a win in 2:16:44.1. The national title was his second after Palmer-Charrette was the top Canadian in last year’s classic sprint at nationals in Canmore. On Saturday, he finished 9.8 seconds ahead of Scott Hill of Barrie Cross Country (BXC) in second place, and BXC had two on the podium with Ryan Jackson in third (+14.6).
The top three separated from the rest of the pack, with Julian Smith (NTDC Thunder Bay) finishing 2:40.1 back in fourth, Michael Somppi (AWCA) following in fifth (+2:45.2), then Bob Thompson (NTDC Thunder Bay) in seventh (+2:57.2), Andy Shields (Lappe Nordic) in seventh (+3:13.6), Alexis Dumas (CNEPH) in eighth (+3:20.6), Jack Carlyle (AWCA) in ninth (+3:21.9) and Jess Cockney (AWCA/Canadian World Cup Team) in 10th (+5:20.5).