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USA’s Ben Saxton and Becca Rorabaugh Win Haywood Easterns/SuperTour Sprint Titles

release by CCC

February 02, 2018 (Cantley, QC) – The Haywood Noram Eastern Canadian Championships and SuperTour race got underway today at Nakkertok, with chilly -15 degree temperatures but lots of sun.

Becca Rorabaugh sprinting [P] Rob Smith
The morning qualifiers were won by Becca Rorabaugh of Alaska, APU and Julien Locke of Black Jack. Locke won by a commanding 5-second margin an impressive performance from Julien, considering he travelled over from the Seefeld World Cup, on Tuesday.

The women’s heats saw Becca Rorabaugh continuing her winning ways. In the final Rorabaugh went out to a small lead and kept it through to the finish. Kaitlynn Miller of SMS T2 and Erika Flowers of Craftsbury moved to the front of the pack on the final climb, to fight for the podium on the finishing straight. It was Miller who prevailed at the finish, by 3/100ths of a second.

Much as in the women’s race, the top qualifier Julien Locke, dominated the initial heats. It was a bit closer in the final as Ben Saxton of SMS T2 was close to Julien early, and the two broke away from the rest of the group.

Men's finish [P] Rob Smith

On the final climb Locke still had a bit of a lead, but a small tactical error on the final corner, gave Saxton a break as they entered the finishing straight. It was a close fight to the finish, with Ben Saxton claiming the win by a 10th of a second.

Nakkertok skier Patrick Stewart-Jones claimed 3rd, just ahead of 4-time U.S. Olympian Kris Freeman of Caldwell Sport/Stratton.

Audio Interview with Julien Locke

The Junior Woman’s sprint was won by Hannah Shields of Lappe fairly comfortably over Paige Latta of Sovereign Lake and Marianne Scherrer of Skibec.

Junior Women's podium [P] Rob Smith

On the men’s side it was Nakkertok’s Pierre Grall-Johnson that came from behind, for the win in his home stadium. Malcolm Thompson of Big Thunder and Ian Williams of Telemark were 2nd and 3rd.

Junior Men's podium [P] Rob Smith
The race also counted as the Para-Nordic National Championships.

Derek Zaplotinsky of Strathcona Wilderness Center had a very close win, 3/10ths of a second over fellow National team skier Sebastien Fortier in the men’s sitski competition. Another National team member, Ethan Hess, was 3rd.

Derek Zaplotinsky [P] Rob Smith
Cindy Ouellet of Mont Ste. Anne was the woman’s sitski champ, with Andy Lin of Vancouver Nordic Racers and Lyn-Marie Bilodeau of Orford winning the standing class competitions.

Unofficially, it looks like after today’s races, Ontario is in the lead in the division standings over Quebec, by 654 to 585.

Next up tomorrow are The Cyclery, interval start, skate competitions.

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