The B.C. Cup cross-country skiing series wrapped up Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 18 and 19) in Salmon Arm, where a number of local skiers earned race victories or high finishes in the series aggregate.
Held at the Larch Hills Ski Area, the B.C. Championship meet saw classic races on Saturday followed by skate relays on Sunday.
Michael Murdoch won the peewee boys’ B 3.5-kilometre race on Saturday, and the Whistler Nordics skier said he was very pleased with his performance.
“It was really good. I had a lot of competitors and I beat them by a lot… so I was pretty happy to win,” said Murdoch, who noted that he and coaches Brent Murdoch and Camille Cheskey were able to find a wax that worked when many others struggled. “A lot of people were getting a lot of clumps on their skis but mine were pretty good.”
With the result, Murdoch finished third in the B.C. Cup aggregate standings.
“I wish I could have done better in the first race in Whistler to get higher up the standings, but I’m happy,” he said.
Whistler teammates Fraser Doak (sixth), Sam Johnton (seventh) and Ian Davidson (10th) all joined Murdoch in the top 10 on Saturday.
Whistler Nordic Joe Davies, meanwhile, took second place in the peewee boys’ A race, which propelled him to first place in the aggregate.
Nicki Murdoch also captured her aggregate title in junior girls’ competition after she place seventh in her seven-km race.
Austin Reith was sixth-fastest among midget boys on Saturday, finishing 63 seconds back of the winner in the five-km contest and winding up second in the division’s aggregate totals. Jenya Nordin, who was eighth in juvenile girls’ competition on Saturday, also placed second on aggregate for her division. Teammate Lauren Doak was 13th in Saturday’s race.
Local skiers were also strong in the peewee girls’ B event, led by a fifth-place showing from Benita Peiffer that helped her to third in the division’s aggregate total. Whistler’s Lauren Kilfoy-McKay was seventh and Alisa Feuz of the Spud Valley Nordics finished eighth.
Rounding out local youth racers, Birken Metza was 19th in his junior boys’ 10-km race.
Cheskey placed second in the 15-km open men’s race and was also that group’s top under-23 finisher. Meanwhile, Brent Murdoch skied to eighth place in a busy men’s 1962-’71 division and settled for second in the series aggregate.
The Whistler Nordics’ Cheryl Morningstar also had a great race in her 10-km women’s 1942-’51 category, as she finished third.
Peiffer, Feuz and Kilfoy-McKay put club affiliations aside on Sunday to compete in the relay and although their team wasn’t considered official, due to the Whistler and Pemberton clubs both being represented, their finish time was two seconds faster than the winning official team in the girls’ children division.
“It was really fun racing with the Whistler people,” said Feuz. “At first I was really nervous because I’m not that good of a skater but we had a lot of fun and got first.”
Other official Whistler relay teams had fantastic races of their own, including the Nordics’ entry into the boys’ children race. Davies, Davidson and Johnston secured a second-place finish, with Johnston skiing the fastest third leg in the field.
Reith, Fraser Doak and Michael Murdoch skied up an age category by racing the midget boys’ division and placed third, finishing 40 seconds back of the winners.
Nordin and Lauren Doak moved up to the junior girls’ race with Nicki Murdoch and the trio recorded a second-place finish, less than six seconds behind the winning team from Revelstoke.
Finally, Whistler’s “Lovely Ladies” team of Morningstar, Nicola Kilfoy and Gwendolyn Kennedy finished in the top half of the senior women’s field by placing seventh.
A full list of results can be obtained at www.zone4.ca.