Prince George, British Columbia - North Bay's David Nighbor put in solid performances at the Canadian Nordic Championships held here this past week. Nighbor stunned his senior counterparts in this, his first year as a senior to win the under 23 age group aggregate title and second in the overall Senior Men's aggregate title.
Three of four events were held in unusual mild temperatures. Snow was trucked over 70 km's from a park and placed on 7.5 kms of trail system to enable the competition to proceed. The Classic race took place on Tuesday, the free-style pursuit race on Wednesday, and the sprint competition on Friday (a pursuit race continues the first race to provide an overall winner from the two separate races). Sunday's long distance free-style race was cancelled due to the continuation of uncharacteristically mild weather and lack of snow.
In the 7.5 km classic race, Nighbor was solid from start to finish to earn a bronze medal. Nighbor completed the course in 19.24; just 17 seconds from first place finisher Ivan Babikoc of Russia and 10 seconds from second place finisher Dan Roycroft of Arrowhead. In the 15km free-style pursuit race, fellow national team veteran Brian McKeever of Foothills edged Nighbor out of the medals by 0.00.1 seconds. Nighbor concluded the course in 39:25.3 minutes. Babikov once again claimed gold in 38:42 and Roycroft silver in 39:22.
In Friday's classic sprint competition, Nighbor completed the qualifying round in 6th position, but battled through the head to head heats to earn a bronze medal in an exciting photo finish.
The strong performances by Nighbor earned him the aggregate title in the under 23-age group and second place in the Senior Mens aggregate title. Brian McKeever claimed the Senior Men's aggregate title, and Babikov the bronze.
Nine other local skiers also competed in the event. Jesse Winter, Kaytlyn Faucon, Ava Rudachyk, Jake Porter, Sam Owdrowski and Jon Winter all of the North Bay Junior Racing team joined up with former members Jeff Seguin, Linnea Rudachyk and Tavis Apramian to put in very respectable showings.
Jesse Winter and Kaytlyn Faucon each had very respectable finishes with both athletes obtaining a top ten and top 15 placings each.
Winter, a second year Junior Boy placed 9th in the 7.5 km classic race with a time 22:19 and concluded the 10 km free-style pursuit race in 11th position. Winter also put in an 11th place showing in the classic sprint event.
Faucon, a second year Juvenile Girl, put in her best performance of the week in the skate portion of the pursuit race with an 8th place finish. Faucon completed the 5.0 km classic race in 36th position with a time of 19:32, but battled back in the 5.0 km skate leg to finish the pursuit in 24th position. Faucon also put in a solid performance in the sprint race with a 15th place showing. Samantha Odrowski also competed in the same category and put in her best performances of the season.
Odrowski completed the pursuit race in 44th position with a 47th place showing in the classic leg with a time of 20:57 and 39th place finish in the skate leg with a time 21:12. Odrowski concluded the sprint event in 44th position.
In Junior Girls, Ava Rudachyk a hard working second year Junior Girl placed 21st in the pursuit race. Rudachyk completed the 5.0 km classic race in 25th position with a time of 19:14 and the 5.0 km skate leg with a respectable placing of 17th position with a time of 18:26. Rudachyk placed 29th in the sprint event.
In the Juvenile Boys race, Jake Porter, Zale Apramian and Jon Winter each put in solid performances. Porter placed 26th in the pursuit race with a 37th place finish in 17:05 in the 7.5 km classic leg and 17th in the 10 km skate leg with a time of 23:25. Apramian place 36th in the pursuit with a 40th place finish in 17:27 in the classic leg and 37th in the skate race with a time of 24:57. Winter placed 40th in the pursuit with a 45th place finish in 18:09 in the classic leg and 38th in the skate leg with a time of 25:08. In the sprint race Porter placed 25th, Apramian 37th and Winter 42nd.
Jeff Seguin of North Bay who is presently with the National Development Center in Thunder Bay and with Lakehead University also put in solid performances. Seguin concluded the pursuit race in 28th position. Seguin completed the 15 km classic race in 43rd position with a time of 21:24 and 21st in 15 km skate race in 41:38. Seguin concluded the classic sprint race in 33rd position.
Linnea Rudachyk who presently skis with Carlton University placed 45th in the 5 km classic race with a time of 18:36 and 32nd in classic sprint race. Rudachyk didn't participate in the skate race due to illness.
Submitted to BayToday.ca