Academy Sets Pace at Easterns
Feb 9th, 2012
The Alberta World Cup had possibly their strongest weekend at the Eastern Canadian Championships in Ottawa, ON. Even with a smaller team due to the upcoming World Junior and U23 Championships later this month, the team of 17 racers earned the vast majority of podium spots over the course of the 3 race mini-tour.
Day 1 - Free Sprint
Alysson Marshall and Emily Nishikawa made it 1 and 2 in the sprint, while Kate Brennan finished 4th. Rebecca Reid was 10th racing up in the open categories.
Jess Cockney kept his sprint winning streak going, taking the win after posting the days 2nd fastest qualifier. Drew Goldsack was 6th, while Matt Wylie won the B-Final.
Day 2 - 10km/15km Free
The team had an equally strong day in the individual start races. In the women's race, Emily and Alysson once again battled it out for the top spot, this time with Emily edging out Alysson by just under 8 seconds. Rebecca Reid finished 1st in the junior category.
The men swept the open podium, with Graeme Killick taking the win over Kevin Sandau by just 0.5 seconds. Pate Neumann took the bronze, 37 seconds back. Jesse Cockney finished just 2 seconds from the podium in 5th.
Day 3 - 15km/30km Pursuit
The overall mini-tour win would be decided between Alysson and Emily over the 15km course, separated by just 3 seconds and over 1 minute ahead of 3rd. Both skiers skied together over the course of the race, taking turns leading until the final climb before the finish. On the final descent, Emily clipped her skis and crashed, giving Alysson the victory. This win locked up the FIS Regional spot, giving her the opportunity to race at the World Cup Finals in March. Kate Brennan finished 3rd, while Brittany Webster was 4th, with her grabbing the individual days fastest time. Rebecca Reid finished 14th.
In the mens race, Graeme Killick, Kevin Sandau and Jesse Cockney started within 15 seconds of each other, and worked together throughout the race to keep the chase groups gap over 1 minute. In the end, Kevin Sandau and Graeme Killick skied the remaining 15km in the front after Cockney gave the two a strong leadoff. Killick with a surge on the final climb, was able to break Sandau and take the overall mini tour win. Jesse Cockney finished 4th, with Pate Neumann 5th and Gerard Garnier 6th. Zach Holland finished 7th in the junior category.
Kevin's 2nd place in the overall tour has locked in his spot to travel to Europe in March with Alysson for the World Cup Finals.
Over at the B Tour, Graham Nishikawa and Phil Widmer have been been producing some great results. Last weekend in Campra, Italy, Phil Widmer won the classic qualifier, beating Tour de Ski winner Dario Colognia by a 2 second margin. In the heats, Phil finished 5th. On the second weekend of racing in Latvia at a Scandinavia Cup, both Phil and Nishikawa placed 5th in the skate sprint and 30km skate mass start respectively.
The team in Ottawa now travels to Orford, Quebec for the Noram Championships this weekend, and then back to Canmore.