Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 16, 2014

Nishikawa ranked second on NorAm ski circuit

Several big-name cross-country skiers find themselves atop the FIS Regional Series standings

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm

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Photo submitted

RANKINGS RELEASED – Emily Nishikawa, pictured participating in last week’s Olympic trials in Canmore, Alta., is ranked second among women on the NorAm circuit. Photo courtesy ANGUS COCKNEY

Several big-name cross-country skiers find themselves atop the FIS Regional Series standings following the Olympic trials and U-23 selection races in Canmore, Alta.

On the women’s side, Heidi Widmer edged ahead of Whitehorse skier Emily Nishikawa, based on her strong sprint performances over the double Olympic Winter Games sprint selection competitions.

Amanda Ammar, who won the second distance race of the Olympic trials, the 15-km skiathlon, is currently ranked third.

Other Whitehorse skiers included in the Haywood NorAm standings are junior skiers Dahria Beatty (34th) and Annah Hanthorn (49th).

Nishikawa won the first race of the Olympic trials, the 10-km individual start classic-ski race, by nearly one minute. The race played a significant part in the 24-year-old’s inclusion on the Canadian Olympic team that will compete in Sochi, Russia in February.

A national development team member, Nishikawa will make her Olympic debut one year after first competing at the FIS World Championships.

Nishikawa had competed at three editions of the FIS World U-23 Championships in 2010, 2011, and 2012, posting a top result of 16th in the 10-km free in 2011.

Yellowknife-born Jesse Cockney tops the men’s standings following his gold and silver medals won over the final sprint and skiathlon competitions at the trials.

Whitehorse skier Graham Nishikawa is ranked fifth, while U-23 Yukon Elite skier Knute Johnsgaard is eighth. Fellow Yukoner Colin Abbott is 22nd on the list.

The Haywood NorAm series continues Jan. 29 near Ottawa as the Eastern Canadian Organizing Committee hosts a three-race event at the Nakkertok Ski Club.

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