First race of Northern Teck Cup series and 2020 Winter Games Zone qualifier held in Smithers

The event was held at the Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club

Some 60 cross-country skiers came out to participate in the first race of the Northern Teck Cup series and 2020 Winter Games Zone qualifier held in Smithers on Dec. 29. (Perry Rath photo)

The Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club (BVCCSC) had a great weekend recently and will be sending seven skiers to the BC Winter Games hosted this February in Fort St. John.

Under mild conditions and even a bit of light drizzle, some 60 cross-country skiers challenged themselves on the course of the BVCCSC in the first of the Northern Teck Cup Series held on Dec. 28, 2019.

The race also acted as the qualifier race for the northwest BC Zone for 13-14-year-olds vying to get to the BC Winter Games.

READ MORE: Nordic club skis to success in annual Teck Northern Cup

The top two skiers for those born in 2005 and 2006 get to move on to that illustrious event.

Skiers from Terrace, Burns Lake, Prince George and Smithers converged to compete in the interval start classic-style race (meaning each skier was released individually to race against the clock).

This year, for the U14 Girls category it was 13-year-olds Ava Wimbush (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club) and Catherine De Gisi (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club) and for the U14 Boys Ari Rath Jenne (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club — there was only one qualifier in this category).

For the U16 Girls it will be 14-year-olds Chloe Williston (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club) and Darah Gillis (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club) representing the girls for the zone, with Scott Clarke-Doering (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club) and Zéphyr Dumais (Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club) representing the U16 Boys.

But while the event acted as a qualifier for the Winter Games, it was also a chance for cross-country enthusiasts to come out and have some fun for the day, with many local skiers coming out for the event.

The youngest participant was five-year-old Myles Rosenberger, who tackled the 0.7 km route with gusto.

The Wimbush family was particularly successful at the event this year, with their children placing first in their three respective categories: Gabriel (U10 Boys), Jesse (U12 Boys) and Ava (U14 Girls).

The skiers were rewarded with ribbons, medals and chocolate provided by Teck BC sponsor of the event, with Paula Bartemucci leading the kitchen crew to provide an after-event lunch to the skiers and the volunteers.

“The BVCCSC is blessed with a strong team of volunteers to help events like this race run smoothly,” said parent-volunteer with the club Perry Rath in a media release on the event.

“Groomers were up into the wee hours the night before putting finishing touches on the trails, and other folks were up early marking the courses, setting up the timing and stadium infrastructure, and waxing the skis. The volunteer coaches also help provide key guidance to the skiers, to help our young team-members improve their skills, chart a race strategy, and cope with potential pre-race anxiety.”

A number of BV Nordic skiers headed to Salmon Arm this past weekend to continue in the Teck BC Cup series.

The next local race is the Chris Dahlie Open/Teck Northern Cup, scheduled to be held on Feb. 16 in Smithers.

The BC Winter Games will be held in Fort St. John between Feb. 20-23.

– Submitted Article

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