The Nelson Nordic Ski Team shone at the cross-country provincial championships for nine to 12 year olds at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre near Vernon during the Family Day weekend.
Over 250 kids from clubs all over BC and the Methow Valley in Washington competed in a classic race, relay races and skate sprints during the two-day event. Of the 12 Nelson Nordic racers attending the event, five placed top 10, including podium finishes and a technique award.
In Saturday morning’s two-kilometre classic race, Nelson Nordic’s Dawson Abraham placed second and Cedric Chewter seventh in the 2009 boys category.
Aleah Smith earned a third-place finish in the 2008 girls event. Kaelum Smith and Maya Abraham both placed eighth in the 2006 boys and girls fields respectively. Other impressive Nelson Nordic results include Tenzin Machado (18th, 2009 boys), Keira Badry (25th, 2009 girls), Tuzo Sevigny (13th), Damien Hetu (26th) and Zane Khosla (32nd) in the 2008 boys. The 2007 girls division was the largest field in the event, where Kallie Badry placed 27th and Maya Krause 37th.
The Saturday afternoon event was a 1.5 km team relay. Costumed teams include four skiers: two skiing classic and two skate skiing. Nelson Nordic skiers put together three teams for the event. The girls team, called the Nelson Nordic Narwhales, placed 13th out of 29 teams.
Large eyeware and fancy hats didn’t slow down the Nerdy Nelsonites, a boys relay team that placed 17th out of 34 teams. The mixed team called the Nelson Slug-eaters was 28th overall.
When asked about his favourite part of the weekend, athlete Damien Hetu talked about the relay races. “The costumes were really funny, and it was fun dressing up to race.”
On Sunday, King’s Court Sprint Heats were held where skiers skate in groups of six, racing the 300-metre course at least three times. Top finishers from Nelson Nordic were Dawson Abraham with another second-place finish. Cedric Chewter and Aleah Smith both placed seventh in their respective fields. Other results include Kaelum Smith (12th), Maya Krause (33rd), Kallie Badry (35th), Damien Hetu (25th), Zane Khosla (29th), Tenzin Machado (21st) and Keira Badry (27th).
Technique awards are also provided for skiers who demonstrate excellent classic or skate technique. Dawson Abraham received one out of five awards given over the weekend for his skate ski technique. Nelson Nordic skiers have received a technique award every year in the past four years that they have participated in the BC Midget Championship events.
“The kids gain so much confidence from participating in five races over one weekend,” says Nelson’s head coach Lauren Heckley. “It is a great experience for the team and we can see tremendous growth in the athletes over the weekend.”