Smithers skiers at B.C. Midget nordic championships

Bulkley Valley nordic ski racers brought home some great results from the B.C. Midget Championships, held March 5 and 6 at Whistler Olympic Park. The annual event for younger ski racers aged nine to 12 has the goal of inspiring continued nordic ski racing as they enter their high school years.

On the Saturday, skiers competed in separate age categories on a 2 km classic course in challenging waxing conditions. Ethan Bucher, 11, was second, Hamish Woods, 12, was third, Skyler Recknell, 12, was sixth, Seton Kriese, 11, was ninth, Jesse Smids, 9, was also ninth, Aiden Murphy, 9, was 13th, Miller Kreise, 8, was 16th, and Rory Finnegan, 8, was 17th in each of their age groups.

In the 1.5 km team relay, a team comprised of Bucher, Woods, Recknell and Seton Kreise placed third, while a second boys team of Finnegan, Smids, Murphy and Miller Kreise were 15th.

In girls competition, Robin Price, 12, was third in the individual classic, and teamed up with Burns Lake skier Kassie Watts, 12, for the relay, where they beat most boys teams to finish second overall.

In the sprint races on Sunday, competitors went head to head in four separate heats spread over only a few hours. The competition was fast and fierce but again, local skiers managed to bring home some medals. Recknell and Price both nabbed third place in the boys and girls categories. Bucher was fifth, Woods was eighth, Smids was 13th, Seton Kriese was 14th, Murphy was 15th, Finnegan was 16th and Miller Kreise was 17th.

While older skiers were aiming for podium finishes, younger skiers were there to learn about high calibre competiton.

“Skills learned in competition translate well to other areas of life,” said head coach Jane Woods. “This includes analyzing a race course, setting race goals, and controlling pre-race jitters.”

Submitted by Amy Copland