March 22, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – Emily Nishikawa and Evan Palmer-Charrette celebrated national titles in the Buff Canada sprint races at the 2017 Ski Nationals in Canmore, Alta. on Wednesday afternoon.
(l-r) Nishikawa, Stewart-Jones, Beatty © Pam Doyle
Emily Nishikawa left little doubt she is the woman to beat in Canada after sprinting to her second-straight national title in as many days.
The Whitehorse-based Olympian stomped some authority on the top women in the country in the head-to-head heats of the 1.3-kilometre classic-ski sprint race.
Dahria Beatty © Pam Doyle
After qualifying third for the round of 30 in the head-to-head heats, the 27 year old was on a mission for gold while leading the country up and down the steep hills of the Canmore Nordic Centre. Nishikawa cruised through her opening two heats before topping her World Championship teammates in the finals.
Senior Women's podium © CCC
“It was another great day. The conditions got slower and slower as the day went on. I really was just trying not to get tripped up in the deep snow, but I’m so honoured and thrilled to win,” said Nishikawa, who has taken on a heavy race load over the last month with the World Championships followed by the World Cup Finals last week in Quebec City.
Katie Weaver © Pam Doyle
“I am so excited and so exhausted. This is my fifth race in six days. It has been a lot, but I couldn’t be happier. There has been so many highlights of the season, and to finish it here in Canmore with two national titles is pretty exciting.”
Nishikawa opened a sizeable lead on the 2016 women’s sprint champion, and fellow Whitehorse resident, Dahria Beatty who battled to a silver medal. Katherine Stewart-Jones, of Chelsea, Que., locked up the bronze.
The next generation of cross-country ski athletes were also doing battle at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Annika Hicks © Pam Doyle
Vancouver’s Annika Richardson handily won the junior women’s sprint event. North Vancouver’s Katie Weaver was the next best finisher in second. Lisle Compton, of Kenora, Ont., skied onto the bronze-medal step of the junior women’s sprint podium.
Evan Palmer-Charrette © Pam Doyle
Later in the day, Evan Palmer-Charrette of Thunder Bay, Ont., was crowned Canadian Champion after placing third in the men’s race.
Moritz Madlener © Pam Doyle
Germany’s Moritz Madlener was first to cross the line, while his fellow University of Denver teammate from Norway, Dag Frode Trolleboe, finished second.
SenSenior Men's finish podium © CCC
The 22-year-old Palmer-Charrette, who won his quarter- and semifinal heats, earned the Canadian title as a result of finishing as the top Canuck.
“I am so happy. I had surgery on my shins in the summer and I was really motivated to get back so I trained really hard to get here,” said Palmer-Charrette, who qualified for the head-to-head heats with the top-30 in 17th spot. “It has been a great year and awesome today.”
Etienne Hebert © Pam Doyle
Antoine Briand from Skibec was the second best Canadian male, while Knute Johnsgaard, of Whitehorse, was the third-best Canadian after finishing fifth overall in the final heat.
Junior Men's podium © CCC
Etienne Hebert, of Varennes, Que., was crowned junior men’s sprint champion. The member of Canada’s Junior World Championship Team this year edged out Nicolas Beaulieu, of Orford, Que., and Larkin Wasmuth, of the Fort Saskatchewan Nordic Ski Club, at the finish line. Beaulieu placed second, while Wasmuth was third in the photo finish.
Result here and here.