Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for February 4, 2014

Beatty, Johnsgaard have solid showing at junior worlds

Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty put together solid performances Monday and today at the U23 junior cross-country ski championship in Val Di Fiemme, Italy.

By Chuck Tobin on February 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

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IMPRESSIVE SHOWING –Yukon cross-country skier Knute Johnsgaard, second from right, races in the Olympic trials in Canmore last month. Photo courtesy LES BEREZOWSKI

Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty put together solid performances Monday and today at the U23 junior cross-country ski championship in Val Di Fiemme, Italy.

Beatty, skiing in her third world championships, placed 15th Sunday in the women’s five-kilometre classic event with a time of 14 minutes, and 55.9 seconds.

The time was just under 55 seconds off the first-place finish of Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva but only seven seconds from cracking the top 10.

The performance was Canada’s best out of the four junior women entered in the event.

“This was my favourite event as well as my best result,” writes Beatty in an email correspondence today. “I skied the 5-km well the entire way through and stuck to my race plan.”

Beatty said it’s a proud and rewarding feeling when you step up wearing your country’s race suit.

“This year was my third time racing at World Juniors and the first time I felt completely as though I belong on the start line with the Norwegians, Russians, Swedes and the other nations,” she writes.

“I felt confident in myself and my teammates that we have a strong team and that Canada is a contender on the world stage as much as any other country.”

The 19-year-old said her goal was to have a top 15 finish in a distance event, as well as qualifying for a short distance sprint event.

“I accomplished both of them.”

At the beginning of the championships late last week, Beatty finished the 1.2-km sprint event in 27th place with a time of three minutes and 9.7 seconds, compared to the winning time of 2:29:44 posted by Jonna Sundling of Sweden.

And in yesterday’s 4 x 3.3-km relay event, Canada’s junior women finished 10th but Beatty posted the seventh fastest time for her leg.

“Placing 15th at World Junior Championships is probably my biggest career accomplishment thus far and I hope that I will be able to continue improving as an athlete so that in future years I can produce results that will better this on the world stage.”

On the junior men’s side, Whitehorse’s Knute Johnsgaard lead the junior Canadian skiers with a 21st-place finish in last week’s 15-km classic event.

The top Canadian recorded a time of 40:58:30, two minutes and 32 seconds off the first-place pace set by Livo Niskanen of Finland but just under a minute from a top-10 finish.

“It wasn’t the race of my life or anything but it was good to have at least one solid result at the championships,” the 21-year-old Johnsgaard writes in an e-mail correspondence. “I qualified to stay over in Europe and do some races in Scandinavia and those races can qualify me for some world cups. It was that one 15-km race that got me on that Scando tour so one race can go a long ways.”

Johnsgaard said it rained all week, making conditions very challenging and his skis for the last race were very slow.

“But what’s important is that the shape is there and now I have some more races to prove myself,” he said. “I think Dahria and I really contributed to Canada’s performance at the championships so I’m an extra proud Yukoner right now.”

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