Huntsville Hoyas Nordic team continues gold calibre season


The Huntsville High School Nordic team continued their torrid start to the season on Tuesday with Ainsley Herr and the Johnstone siblings storming the podium en route to three more team gold medals for HHS throughout the early portion of the race calendar.

The hardware came at the Thunder Bird Invitational race at Hardwood Ski and Bike Trails.

Junior Girl Natasia Varieur, who just recently placed fourth in her first .22 calibre biathlon race in Quebec last weekend, captured the gold medal in her category, but unfortunately HHS did not send enough junior girls to the event to be eligible for a team score.

It was a clean sweep for the rest of the Huntsville teams, beginning with junior Owen Johnstone finishing on the podium with a bronze medal, and missing out on the silver by a mere 6/10th of a second, leading his teammates to the Junior Boys championship title.

Veteran racer Ainsley Herr led the HHS senior girls contingent with a fourth-place finish for the team’s second gold of the day, while rival Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School athlete Laura Carlton won the individual silver in the same category.

Owen’s older brother Nathan Johnstone also showed an intense willingness to compete in completing the arduous 7.5 km course with a third place finish, one of five Huntsville skiers who placed in the top 10 in the Senior Boys category as HHS cleaned up the competition with a third team gold.

As the racers have successfully come off their first peak of their training program, the group will now take a week and a half away from practice to allow the students to prepare for year-end projects and exams. The team’s next event will feature a return to Hardwood Ski and Bike on Friday, February 5 starting at 5 p.m. under the lights

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