Brook siblings win chilly Don Sumanik races
It was almost too cold to race.
Photo by Vince Fedoroff
SPEEDY SIBLINGS – Heidi Brook, above left, and Fabian Brook, above right, won their respective divisions in the second Don Sumanik race of the season, Saturday.
It was almost too cold to race.
But with pre-race temperatures steady at -19 C, the second Don Sumanik Memorial race was given the green light Saturday at the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club.
The Brook siblings took home top honours, with Heidi, 20, and Fabian, 18, winning the women’s and men’s open divisions.
Younger sister Maggie was unable to make it a clean Brook sweep, missing the midget girls race due to illness.
Eighty-one skiers registered for the races, which saw the atom and peewee classes cancelled. The temperature cutoff for the younger skiers is -15 C.
Her eyelashes lined in frost, Heidi Brook completed her 3.75-km freestyle technique ski in a time of 12:09.4.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks skier has been in Whitehorse for the past month on holidays, and will return to Fairbanks today.
“Fairbanks is great for training, but it’s just so exciting to get back home,” she told the Star. “The cold’s all right. The thing is it’s always hard, no matter what. That was a super-hard course. I’m really impressed with all these younger skiers who are doing the same course as me.”
Brook spent time nearly every day out on area ski trails over her holiday.
“I’m lucky. My brother’s here and I’ve got friends who ski,” she said. “It’s such a great community and the trails are awesome. There’s always snow.”
Fabian Brook, a member of the newly-formed Yukon Elite Squad, was fresh off competing in the NorAm races in Thunder Bay, Ont.
“It’s great,” he said of the sibling success. “My sister’s away in Fairbanks for university and it’s nice when she has the month off. It’s good to see her around.”
The junior male skier finished his 7.5-km freestyle technique ski in 21:44.
“The snow was really dry and it was a tough course,” he said post-race. “But they have a new PistenBully (trail groomer) and it’s really putting it together. Fortunately, we have lots of snow and it’s really well done up here.”
Brook said skiing with the Yukon Elite Squad has provided a big boost to his training this year.
“I’ve been able to ski with some of my mentors,” he said. “It’s a totally cool situation for me. I kind of lucked out.”
Other age divisions included some closely-contested classes.
Cambria Fuerstner won the 3.75-km juvenile girls race in a time of 13 minutes, 31 seconds – only 13 seconds ahead of second place finisher Eliza Paul.
Regan Fuerstner won the midget girls race in 14:41.9, while Hannah Deuling and Hannah Shier finished two seconds apart to finish second and third, respectively.
Caelen McLean beat Marcus Deuling by one second to win the juvenile boys 7.5-km race. McLean was only 27 seconds behind Fabian Brook’s top male time.
Elsie Sumanik, Don’s widow, presented trophies to the fastest male and female competitors for their combined times for the first two Don Sumanik races. Heidi Brook and Caelen McLean were the recipients.
Sumanik also presented cash awards to top junior finishers Trevor Bray and Adrienne Hynes.
The race series is named in honour of the late Don Sumanik, who was instrumental in the formative years of the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club.
The Don Sumanik races are used by Cross Country Yukon as qualifying races to select athletes to represent the Yukon at the Western and National Championship races in 2013.