XC race season launches with Coast Cup 

130 skinny skiers at Whistler Olympic Park for opening race of the series

click to enlarge MEDAL MIX Nicki Murdoch from the Whistler Nordics was second in the Junior Women's race at Coast Cup#1 at Whistler Olympic Park last weekend.
  • MEDAL MIX Nicki Murdoch from the Whistler Nordics was second in the Junior Women's race at Coast Cup#1 at Whistler Olympic Park last weekend.

Despite having only a few weeks to prepare — if that — the opening TeckCoast Cup cross-country race hosted at Whistler Olympic Park by Hollyburn was a success, with 130 racers of all ages turning out to compete.

Skiers came from as far away as Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley to take part, with the local Whistler Nordics club defending its home turf.

The Atom Boys raced a 600-metre sprint around the stadium. The top three racers — Ryuan Goodwin, Dustin Hay and Leo Bergner — were from Hollyburn, with Sam Ellis from the Spud Valley Nordics in Pemberton placing fourth.

In Pee Wee Boys (1.5km course), Larson Rickli of the Whistler Nordics placed first overall by over seven seconds, followed by Jack Lestrange of the Spud Valley Noridcs and Felix Perron of the Squamish Nordics.

In Pee Wee Girls (1.5km), Naomi Swift from the Strathcona Nordics was first by almost a full minute. Savannah McKinney-Lincks of Pemberton was second.

In Bantam Boys (2km), Joe Davies of the Whistler Nordics was the fastest skier by over 26 seconds, followed by Sean Richardson and Reese Critchlow of Hollyburn. Whistler's David Mehta was eighth.

In Bantam Girls (2km), Mila Wittenberg of the Whistler Nordics was first by over 26 seconds as well, with teammate Linnea Uunila in second and Sakura Kawano of the Spud Valley Nordics in third.

From Spud Valley, Fiona Davies was sixth, Trinity Ellis seventh, Katie Gray eighth, Ruby Trand 10th and Olive Norris-Leite 11th.

The Midget Boys (2km) was one of the biggest categories of the day with 15 racers, and Whistler Nordics racers swept the podium. Michael Murdoch placed first by almost 20 seconds, with Fraser Doak and Sam Johnston in second and third. Ian Davidson was fifth while Spud Valley's Jonathan Rabung was eighth.

In Midget Girls (2km) there were 17 racers. The top four were from Hollyburn — Maxine Forder, Jenna Sim, Anna Goodwin and Ruby Meihuizen finished within seven seconds of each other, but Whistler's Benita Peiffer wasn't far off the pace in fifth. Also from Whistler, Lauren Kilfoy McKay was seventh and Julia Long eighth. From Spud Valley, Alisa Feuz was 10th and Kaede Kawano 12th.

In Juvenile Boys (4km) Kayden Smith of Hollyburn was the racer to beat, with Whistler's Austin Reith coming closest to rank second. Rowan Morris of Hollyburn placed third. Also from Whistler, Hunter Sones was sixth.

In Juvenile Girls (4km) the top three were Annika Richardson from Hollyburn, Avalon Wasteneys from Strathcona and Dot Forder from Hollyburn. Keeley Wentzel was ninth for Whistler.

In Junior Boys (7.5km), it was all Strathcona with Jamie Wasteneys first, Alec Stapff second and Alex Brown third.

In Junior Girls (5km), Lauren Doak and Jenya Nordin were second and third behind Eliza-Jane Kitchen of Hollyburn.

In Junior Men (7.5km), two racers from the UBC Nordics were first and second, Robert Ragotte and Adam Woods.

In Junior Women (7.5km), Whistler's Nicki Murdoch placed a close second to Kirsty Bock from the 100 Mile Nordics. Lucy Smyth of Hollyburn was third.

In Open Men (7.5km), Eric Carter of the UBC Nordics got the better of Camille Cheskey of the Whistler Nordics, while Greg Inkster of Hollyburn was third. Also from Whistler, Brent Murdoch was fifth.

In Open Women (7.5km), Kajsa Heyes of the Callaghan Valley Training Centre was first by almost a minute, followed by Solen Roth and Katrina Dutkiewicz of UBC.

The results are posted online at www.zone4.ca. Results for the youth divisions can also be separated into more accurate birth year rankings, while the divisions themselves represent two or three years.

The Whistler Nordics Twoonie Race season kicks off on Jan. 10, followed by the second Coast Cup event of the series, hosted by Whistler, on Jan. 19.

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