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Zina Kocher and Graham Nishikawa Win 5/10km F Individual Skate Titles at Haywood Ski Nationals

release by CCC

March 21, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – The Ski Nationals saw a change in the weather, with Saturdays rain making way for cooler temperatures and bright blue skies. Retired national biathlon team member, Zina Kocher of Rocky Mountain Racers, won the Open Women’s 5-kilometre sprint race on Sunday followed by Jenn Jackson of Lappe in second.

Zina Kocher [P] Pam Doyle

“I missed the excitement of racing,” said Kocher. “I haven’t raced in nationals since they were in Whistler. I thought they were holding them here, so why not.” Kocher says she has kept in shape, “I want to race, but I don’t miss the lactate pain,” she added.

Third went to Sun Valley’s Deedra Irwin, and positions 4-6 also went to the U.S. club. The third best Canadian was Isabella Howden of Team Hardwood.

In the Jr. Women, Hannah Mehain of Sovereign Lake claimed the top spot, followed by Zoe Williams of Nakkertok and Darya Sepandj of Foothills Nordic.

Moritz Madlener wins [P] Pam Doyle
For the men, the University of Denver did well, with German racer Moritz Madlener grabbing the win by 6 seconds over Whitehorse’s Graham Nishikawa, the Canadian champion. 3rd went to Norwegian Eivind Romberg Kvaale, also of the University of Denver with Jack Carlyle of Soo Finnish coming in next as the 2nd Canadian with Lappe’s Michael Somppi 5th overall and the 3rd Canadian.

Graham Nishikawa [P] Pam Doyle
In Jr. Men the Godfrey twins, Ty and Reed, gave Canmore 1st and 2nd on the podiumwith Skinouk’s Antoine Cyr 3rd.

Ty Godfrey, 18, with the Canmore Nordic Ski Club, skis to win first place in the Junior Mens 10km skate [P] Pam Doyle
The top Junior Boy was Leo Grandbois the World Youth Biathlon champion and Benita Peiffer of Whistler was the top Jr. Girl.

For the Juveniles the top girl was American skier Novie McCabe of Methow Valley, with Canmore’s Maya Fish the top Canadian in 3rd. In the boys class it was Norwegian skier Mads Groeholdt of Whistler in 1st, with Xavier McKeever of Foothills Nordic the top Canadian in 2nd. Xavier is the son of Canadian Para-Nordic coach and longtime NST member Robin McKeever and another longtime NST member Milaine Theriault.

Awards presentations will take place on Monday night.

Full results here.

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