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Beatty and Sandau Win 10/15km Interval Start FR at Haywood NorAm Sovereign Lake Day 2


December 14, 2015 (Sovereign Lake, BC) – The final Haywood NorAms before Christmas, were raced on Sunday in Sovereign Lake B.C. It was -4 deg. C. with some light snow in the morning and an 8 cm. overnight snowfall had left the tracks a bit softer than they had been the previous day. Sunday’s events were distance, interval start, skate races.

Kevin Sandau [P] Julie Melanson

There was a fair bit on the line in today’s races, with positions on the B Tour and Youth Olympic Games team up for grabs.

Kevin Sandau [P] Julie Melanson
Fairly heavy snow started falling midway through the race, but this didn’t deter one of the later starters Kevin Sandau of Foothills Nordic. Sandau led from start to finish to claim his 3rd consecutive NorAm, distance win. Sandau was 37 seconds ahead of his main distance rival on the circuit, Knute Johnsgaard of Whitehorse, relegating him once again to the lower podium steps. In 3rd was Russell Kennedy of Canmore, four seconds farther back in the 15k skating event.

The top junior was Philippe Boucher of Skibec at two minutes behind Sandau, with another Skibec racer, Edouard Reed-Métayer in 2nd and Gareth Williams of Telemark in 3rd.

Dahria Beatty of Whitehorse also picked up her 3rd NorAm win of the season, powering her way through the course for a dominant 32-second victory in the women’s 10k skate.

Dahria Beatty [P] Julie Melanson

Second place went to Brazil’s 3-time Winter, and 2-time Summer Olympian, Jaqueline Mourão. Mourão trains out of the Pierre Harvey Training Centre and is married to Guido Visser, a 1998 Olympian and National Team member for Canada in cross-country skiing.

It was a close battle for 2nd/3rd Canadian as the next three racers were 30 seconds back and separated by .5 seconds.

Dahria Beatty [P] Julie Melanson

Andrea Dupont of Rocky Mountain Racers was 3rd, followed 0.4 seconds later by Cendrine Browne of Fondeurs-Laurentides and then Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt also of Fondeurs-Laurentides was 0.1 more seconds back.

Dahria Beatty [P] Julie Melanson

Marie Corriveau of Mont Ste. Anne skied to a comfortable 40+ second victory in the junior women’s event ahead of Sadie White of Big Thunder. Eliza-Jane Kitchen of Telemark came 3rd.

Going into the event there was some tight competition for the Canadian representatives (1 male and 1 female) at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Based on the Canmore, Buff sprint event, home course skier Hannah Mehain of Sovereign had a small advantage over Annika Richardson of Hollyburn in the women’s selection competition. Levi Nadlersmith of Downtown Nordic was neck and neck with Antoine Laforte of Skibec for the men’s position.

The men’s race was won by Levi Nadlersmith by over a minute ahead of his Manitoba team-mate Conor McGovern of Red River Nordic. This was probably the best 1-2 national level result by Manitoba since the early 80’s when Jeff Wood and Clinton Reece,(members of the original Jackrabbit program in Winnipeg) were part of the National Jr. team and raced at the World Junior Championships in Murau, Austria.

Third was Antoine Laforte and 4th was Reed Godfrey of Canmore. Reed’s twin brother Ty, was another contender for the Games position but broke a binding at the start, finishing in 8th.

There was a lot of drama in the junior woman’s race as Hannah Mehain set a strong early pace, leading the race by 20 seconds at the bottom of the last major uphill, 800 metres from the end. Annika Richardson of Hollyburn was in 2nd but was feeling the effects of pushing a strong pace of her own.

Over the last 800 metres Mehain lost 29 seconds and wobbled into the finish, crossing over all of the finishing tracks.

The lost time by Mehain was enough to give Richardson the win by seven seconds as she collapsed at the finish in sheer exhaustion herself. The time loss by Mehain also gave Whitehorse’s Natalie Hynes the chance to “sneak” into 2nd at 0.3 seconds ahead of the Sovereign Lake skier.

The NST selection committee for the YOG and B Tour trips would be meeting after today’s events, with a final announcement on team composition expected sometime on Monday.

The Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprint series continues January 14-17 at Lappe Ski Club, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. The races also serve as selection events for the Junior/U23 Nordic World Championships in Rasnov, Romania, February 22-28.

NorAm Race Info here.

Sovereign NorAm Sunday Results here

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