Day 1 Frozen Thunder (Canmore, Canada) Classic Sprint
The first day of race season at Canmore Nordic Centre’s Frozen Thunder began with a classic sprint. Frozen Thunder is an annual on-snow event at the Canmore Nordic Centre run on a ski loop crafted from last season’s stored snow. The tracks are open to both high-performance athletes and the general public depending on training and race schedules.
In the senior men’s category, Russell Kennedy (Team R.A.D.) was the fastest qualifier finishing in a time of 3:36.70 minutes. Julien Locke (Black Jack/CNST) qualified in second (+1.26), with Dominique Moncion-Groulx (Nakkertok Nordique/Team R.A.D) in third (+2.47). Longtime Canadian National Ski Team member Len Valjas skied the fourth fastest qualifying time, 3.78 seconds behind Kennedy.
Peter Holmes (SVSEF), who qualified in seventh (+4.55), was the fastest U.S. men’s qualifier.
On the senior women’s side, Dahria Beatty (AIAWCA/CNST) stopped the clock in 4:09:16 with the fastest qualifying time. Teammate Emily Nishikawa was second (+11.5), while Katie Weaver (RMR) was third (+14.99). Maya MacIsaac-Jones (RMR/CNST) qualified fourth (+15.36).
Lauren Jortberg was the fastest female qualifier from the U.S., skiing to sixth (+16.85).
Frozen Thunder’s classic sprint is a zero-elimination “King’s Court” format. The race format serves the dual purpose of providing solid head-to-head racing for elite athletes while also allowing developing athletes an opportunity to race heats. In a traditional World Cup format, only the top-30 skiers advance to the heats. (Zone 4 Timing has a spreadsheet of the day’s King’s Court heats.)
Under this format, men and women have the possibility of competing against one another in the heats.
Amongst the senior men in the King’s Court heats, Valjas placed first, Moncion-Groulx second, with Andy Shields (Lappe Nordic) third. Shields placed ninth in the qualifier (+6.08). Reed Godfrey (Team R.A.D.) placed fourth. Godfrey was the sixth fastest men’s qualifier, 4.15 seconds behind top qualifier, Kennedy.
For the senior women, Beatty took first, Hannah Mehain second, with Weaver in third. Macisaac-Jones finished in fourth.
Look for a full race report later today on FasterSkier.