“It’s been a good start to the season for Arrowhead Nordic’s Race Crew,” says co-coach Holly Strickland. The ARC team—comprising skiers aged 11 to 18—has participated in several events so far in the 2020 ski season, most recently the Muskoka Loppet at Arrowhead on Jan. 26 and the Mono Nordic Invitational near Orangeville on Feb. 1.
At the Muskoka Loppet, Arrowhead racers Sam Parsons, Claire Parsons, and Cate Gottlieb attained personal best times in the 5km Classic. Braunwyn Strickland came off a week of illness to compete in the 5km Classic and placed fifth in her age group. Although the Muskoka Loppet race distance was longer than a Southern Ontario District (SOD) Paraffin Race Series course, the athletes were on their own refined turf and found their strides easily.
At the 2020 Mono Nordic Invitational, which is part of the SOD Parffin Race Series, James Laughton had a great ski and made the podium with a third place finish in the 3.5km Skate event. Braunwyn Strickland skied hard and finished seventh. Sam Parsons, Claire Parsons, and Cate Gottlieb again took personal bests in the 3.5km Skate.
The conditions at the Mono Nordic Invitational were very fast and tested the athletes’ skills on course.
“It was really fast and even icy in spots. You really had to watch your speed on this one big downhill,” says Braunwyn.
“These U12 and U14 athletes have been training two to three times a week since September,” says co-coach Holly. “They have made huge gains in strength, stamina and technique.”
“We are incredibly proud of our ARC athletes,” added co-coach Jon Strickland. “They are getting great results, but more than that they demonstrate camaraderie, sportsmanship, dedication and grit. As a development coach, we couldn’t ask for more.”
The Arrowhead Nordic Race Crew skiers also took the podium at the annual Arrowhead Nordic Classic elementary ski race on February 7. Their results were:
Grade 5/6 boys
1st – James Laughton
6th – Sam Parsons
Grade 5/6 girls
1st – Braunwyn Strickland
2nd – Claire Parsons
Grade 7/8 girls
1st – Cate Gottlieb
Due to current job action, elementary teachers were unable to plan or organize field trips however Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club still offered students the chance to race at the Classic this winter. There was a dedicated group of volunteers who enjoyed providing this day of outdoor fun for local students.
The ARC has two more events this month, the SOS Nordic Ski Cross in Midland and the SOD Team Sprints at Georgian Nordic, before heading to the Ontario Youth Championships in Timmins.
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