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Local Nordic Skiers Strong in Ontario Cup Series

Thunder Bay- The Ontario Nordic Cup Series is underway, and the North Bay Nordic Junior Racing Team led by veteran skier Jesse Winter is off to a fabulous start. The Team completed the event with a silver medal and ten top 10 place finishes.
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Thunder Bay- The Ontario Nordic Cup Series is underway, and the North Bay Nordic Junior Racing Team led by veteran skier Jesse Winter is off to a fabulous start.

The Team completed the event with a silver medal and ten top 10 place finishes.

The Ontario Cup race, part of the Haywood NorAm Canada Cup circuit, attracted senior and junior national team skiers as well as the top clubs in Ontario. Points from the Ontario Cup Series will be used to define the provincial team that will be selected to attend the junior nationals this coming spring in Prince George BC.

Two events were held; the free-style sprint race on Wednesday, and classic competition on Thursday.

On the medal podium for North Bay was seasoned skier Jesse Winter with a silver medal. Kaytlyn Faucon also displayed top form and obtained excellent points in the series with a 2nd place finish during the qualifying round of the sprint event.

In the second half of the Junior Boy's 10 km classic race Jesse Winter came from behind to take a slight lead over John Rennie of Ottawa. However, a stumble during the final stage of the race dropped Winter into a 2nd place finish, just 9 seconds behind Rennie's time of 35:56. Gregory Field of Thunder Bay rounded off the top three, 38 seconds off the lead pace while David Weiskopf of the North Bay squad finished 12th in 39:47.

In the Sprint event Winter was eliminated during the semi-finals, but put in a strong performance for a 6th place finish. Weiskopf finished the sprint event in 12th place. Rennie once again took gold in that event.

Kaytlyn Faucon put in an awesome performance in Juvenile Girls sprint qualifying round and missed top spot by just 1.4 seconds. Faucon concluded the sprint event with a 4th place finish and went on to place 6th in the 5 km classic event in 24:53.

"I feel very good with that race" claimed Faucon. "I learned a lot out there this weekend. I know where I have to improve, and these races will help me with that".

Samantha Odrowski put in personal bests with 2 top 15 finishes, placing 13th both days. Owdrowski concluded the classic race with a time of 24:53.

In the Juvenile Boys category, first year Jake Porter was the top performer with an 8th place finish in the 7.5 km classic event followed by Zale Apramian in 9th place.
Porter's time was 27:14 and Apramian's 27:41. Thunder Bay's Luke Vilakainen took gold in 24:45. Jonathon Winter and Brenton Farintosh also competed in the event.

Winter placed 21st in 30:46 and Farintosh 23rd in 31:58. In the sprint event, Porter once again placed 8th while Apramian dropped to 12th position. Winter placed 19th and Farintosh 23rd.

Ava Rudachyk of the North Bay squad also put in a top 10 placing in the Junior Girl's sprint event. Rudachyk placed 9th, and just missed the top 10 in the 7.5 km classic race with an 11th place finish. Rudachyk finished the classic race in 31:03.

Ezekiel Williams, a rookie to the North Bay squad was also in attendance and showed his potential with two top 10 placings. Williams, a mini-midget boy, raced up in the midget category and put in strong performances against his senior counterparts.

Williams placed 6th in the sprint event and 7th in the classic race. Williams finished the 3.5 km race in 16:05, 1:37 behind Thunder Bay's Gabe Vilakainen. Vilakainen took gold both days.

Former North Bay Nordic Racing Team members Jeff Seguin and Tavis Apramian accompanied the North Bay junior squad to the event. Sequin, a member with the National Training Development Centre in Thunder Bay put in two top 10 placings.

Seguin finished the sprint event in 9th place behind National Team member Sean Crooks who took gold. Seguin finished the sprint race in 2:35, 10 seconds behind Crooks.
In the 15 km classic race, Seguin again placed 9th to Junior National Team member Chris Butler who won the gold medal. Seguin completed the event in 49:05.

Butler's time was 46:34. Apramian who skis with Carleton University placed 6th inthe Junior Men's category to Rob Martin of Timmins who took gold. Apramian finished 16th in the Open Men's classic race with a time of 52:39.


Ontario Cup Series races 3 & 4 are set to go in Duntroon January 15 and 16, 2004.



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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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