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Sports archive for February 27, 2013

McLean strikes double gold for Yukon at Western Canadians

Caelan McLean set a golden standard for the Yukon at the Western Canadians last weekend.

By Whitehorse Star on February 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

UP-AND-COMING STAR – Caelan McLean picked up two gold medals for the Yukon at the Western Canadians.

Caelan McLean set a golden standard for the Yukon at the Western Canadians last weekend.

The 15-year-old skier competed in the juvenile boys category.

After narrowly missing the podium in Friday’s 2.5-km free technique race, McLean put on the jets and struck gold in Saturday’s interval start classic and Sunday’s mass start free technique race.

The largest Yukon ski team in history was competing in the Western Canadian Championships in Grande Prairie, Alta.

The Western Canadians, part of the Haywood NorAm series, was skied as a three-day mini-tour for open classes, with individual awards each day as well as an overall championship.

Younger skiers took part in three individual races.

In the open classes, Dahria Beatty put in solid performances all weekend, and finished as the top junior woman.

Meanwhile, in the Open Men’s group, Yukon Elite Skiers David Greer, Colin Abbott and Knute Johnsgaard put in solid top 10 performances in all of their races.

Greer finished the mini-tour in sixth place overall after finishing fifth in the sprint, fourth in the classic and eighth in the distance free event.

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At the World Nordic Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, Whitehorse skier Graham Nishikawa finished 39th in a 15-km individual skate-start today.

He was the third Canadian to cross the line in a time of 37:40.7.

Canadian Ivan Babikov finished fourth in the same race in 35:30.7 – the best showing in history for a Canuck.

Graham’s younger sister Emily placed 57th in a 10-km individual skate-start yesterday.

The race was the final tune-up for the relay later in the week. Canada’s women’s four-by-five-km relay team of Daria Gaiazova, Perianne Jones, Brittany Webster and Emily Nishikawa, will hit the start line on Thursday.

Emily and her brother also competed in Saturday’s skiathlon races.

Graham, 29, enjoyed a solid 30-km race, starting out strongly on a very fast course.

He faded slightly in the second half’s free technique portion however, finishing in 51st place.

Emily, 23, wasn’t able to finish the women’s 15-km race due to health problems.
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Here in Whitehorse, the 30th annual Northwestel Yukon Loppet was held on Saturday, as part of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous activities.

Perfect temperatures greeted nearly 150 participants at the Whitehorse Nordic Centre.

With a new format and distances ranging from three to 45 km – races that could be skied in either classic or skate style – the atmosphere was more party than race, helped greatly by the hot tubs lined up at the finish line.

In a new twist on the event, a snow bike category was added with cyclists taking the opportunity to try out some of the single-track trails at the nordic centre.

Preston Blackie won the men’s side of the 8-km snow bike event in 40:48, while Sierra Vandermeer took the women’s race in a time of 54:52.

The top male and female performances in the Classic Free Mass Starts were as follows:

45-km: Chris Schmidt (2:27:43.8) and Pippa Lawson (2:53:48.2).

30-km: Trevor Bray (1:46:37) and Brittany Pearson-Smith (1:56:38.7).

15-km: Stephen Clayton (53:24.3) and Holly Bull (55:53.2).

7.5-km: Liam Mather (22:51.9) and Regan Fuerstner (23:54.4).

3-km: Mettias Schmidt (13:56.1) and Dahlia LaPointe (12:58.6).

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