Local Nordic Skiers find the podium at Eastern Canadians

Wednesday, February 06, 2013   by: Chris Dawson

North Bay Nordic ski team in Gatineau Back Row (L to R): Coach Dr. Koivukoski, Matt Chalmers, Madi Fraser, Aaron Birosh, Kevin Durkee, Nick Lanctot. Front Row: Coach Sera Tempio, Lynsey Bialkowski, Adrian Vandermeer, Mikell Blain Rogers. Photo submitted.

North Bay's Nordic Ski team came home with 4 podium finishes from Canada’s Eastern Nordic Championships which took place in Gatineau, Quebec this past weekend.

The event included close to 700 skiers from Eastern Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon.

The Nakkertok ski club trails were closed the week prior to the competition to preserve the trails following a week of rainfall and a substantial loss of snow depth. The firm, icy trails were fast and difficult to negotiate, resulting in many falls as athletes attempted to navigate icy patches on challenging terrain including several falls suffered by first year juvenile boys and team-mates Mikell Blain-Rogers and Adrian Vandermeer.

The Eastern Canadians and Canadian Nationals are the two competitions of the year where athletes are awarded placings for their year of birth. First year junior boy Aaron Birosh placed second amongst 80 competitors in the 3km classic. Nick Lanctot, also a first year junior boy skied with determination over the three days on some of the longest and most difficult races of the year.

It was three for three for teammate Madi Fraser, a first year junior girl who landed on the podium in each race, placing third in the 3 km classic race, second in the 5km skate race and second in the 10 km classic race.

Nipissing University and North Bay Nordic Athletes Matt Chalmers, Kevin Durkee and Lynsey Bialkowski competed against some of the best varsity skiers in the country, as well as skiers from national training centres. First year junior man Matt continued his successful season with a great 30km race on the final day. Matt moved up from 110th seeding to 70th in the open men category which includes athletes from national training centres. Kevin and Lynsey skied with a keen focus over the three days and returned exhausted but ready to take on the Ontario University Nordic championships at the end of the month in Thunder Bay.

Athletes will now focus on putting in endurance training for the month of February before they race again at the fourth provincial race of the season at Hardwood Hills in Barrie the first weekend of March, followed by Canada’s National Nordic Competition the last week of March in Whistler British Columbia.

The North Bay Nordic Junior Race Team is coached by Dr. Toivo Koivukoski and Sera Tempio. The team is financially supported by the North Bay Nordic Ski Club, Rahnmet, Cementation, Investors Group, KPMG, and Condor Airlines.
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