Local Nordics ski to strong Coast Cup results

Several local racers reach podium over two days at Whistler Olympic Park

Local cross-country skiers took over the trails for two days at Whistler Olympic Park this weekend for back-to-back Coast Cup races. Not surprisingly, a number of Whistler and Pemberton skiers turned in outstanding results during competition on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 18 and 19).

Saturday's schedule featured classic races with varying distances by age group. Several skiers from the Callaghan Valley Training Centre came out for the open men's 13.2-kilometre event, which was won by Sebastien Dandurand. He beat out CVTC teammate Martin Schrama by less than four seconds for the victory.

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In the master men's race at the same distance, Whistler's Vesa Suomalainen finished first while fellow Whistler Nordic Brent Murdoch placed fifth.

Nicki Murdoch earned a runner-up finish in the junior women's 10-km race, finishing under four minutes off the winning time. CVTC skier Colin Foley won the junior men's event.

Whistler Nordics skiers finished one-two in the junior girls' 6.6-km race, as Lauren Doak beat out teammate Marte Welhavem to the finish. Julia Long (sixth) and Kaede Kawano (seventh) had the best local results in juvenile girls' racing, and Pemberton's Jonathan Rabung was sixth in the boys' event.

Among midget girls racing a 3.3-km course, Whistler's Benita Peiffer took top spot while fellow locals Lauren Kilfoy McKay and Mila Wittenberg reached the top five, with Pemberton's Alisa Feuz right behind them in sixth. The midget boys' division saw Whistler skiers take three of the top four spots, with Michael Murdoch and Joe Davies placing one-two, and Ian Davidson finishing fourth.

The bantam girls' race had only Pemberton skiers involved, and the top three positions in the 2.4-km race belonged to Marlie Molinaro, Naomi Prohaska and Ruby Trand, respectively. Whistler's Larson Rickli was second overall for the boys.

Local skiers also topped the podium in each of the boys' and girls' peewee and atom races. Sierra Poochay-McBain and Lennox Davies were the bantam winners, while Molly Mackie and James Tait were triumphant in the atom races.

Sunday's races were team sprints, and local skiers were again among the top finishers in most age groups.

Spud Valley Nordics Jack L'Estrange and Alex Feuz won the 100-metre peewee race, while Peiffer and Kilfoy McKay teamed up for silver in the midget girls' race. Welhavem and Doak skied to third place in the juvenile and junior girls' race, while the boys' races saw Michael Murdoch and Hunter Sones place fifth.

Camille Cheskey and Nils Prica placed second in the junior-open-master men's race, while Austin and Ian Reith finished fifth.

Full results from Saturday are available at www.zone4.ca, while Sunday's finishes are detailed at www.spudvalleynordics.com.

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