Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for December 16, 2013

Nishikawa siblings lead Canadians at NorAms

Whitehorse skier Emily Nishikawa edged her rivals by two-tenths of a second to win gold in the Haywood NorAm Cup 1.4-km sprint Saturday in Rossland, B.C.

By Marcel Vander Wier on December 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

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Photo submitted

PHOTO FINISH – Emily Nishikawa, left, crosses the finish line a step ahead of Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt, centre, and Heidi Widmer, right, at the Haywood NorAms sprint Saturday in Rossland, B.C. Photo courtesy SHELLEY PEACHELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Whitehorse skier Emily Nishikawa edged her rivals by two-tenths of a second to win gold in the Haywood NorAm Cup 1.4-km sprint Saturday in Rossland, B.C.

The 24-year-old’s time of 3:21.29 edged out Heidi Widmer’s 3:21.51 and Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt’s 3:21.52 in a tight photo finish.

After the race, Nishikawa described it as “super fast, fun course, but tough. Nice to have warmer weather after the cold in Sovereign Lake last weekend.”

Her older brother Graham was also named top Canadian in the men’s 1.6-km sprint, but finished third overall with a time of 3:38.07, less than a second behind Alaska’s Eric Bjornsen and Sun Valley’s Miles Havlick.

Fellow Whitehorse athlete Knute Johnsgaard finished sixth overall in the sprints with a time of 3:38.96, while Yukoner Colin Abbott was 14th in 3:43.90.

Johnsgaard, 21, was the top finisher among Under-23 athletes, however, and appears to have stepped up his game with the intent of qualifying for February’s World Championships.

Nineteen-year-old Dahria Beatty, representing Whitehorse in the junior women’s category, finished second in her 1-km sprint final with a time of 3:28.88, more than a second behind winner Katherine Stewart-Jones. The two are clear leaders in the selection process for the world junior team.

Emily Nishikawa was also the top Canadian in Sunday’s 10-km Open Women race, finishing in 32:07.6, less than 14 seconds of off American Kate Fitzgerald’s gold-medal pace.

Beatty finished 12th overall – third among junior women – with a time of 34:06.9. Whitehorse skier Annah Hanthorn finished 17th in 34:48.8, good for fourth among juniors.

Graham Nishikawa, 30, was tops among Yukon skiers in the 15-km Open Men Classic, finishing in 43:41.6, 33 seconds off the pace.

Yukon Elite Squad skiers Abbott was 11th (43:31.1) while Johnsgaard finished 14th (44:01.7).

Yukon Ski Team members Caelan McLean was 30th overall (45:48.6), second place among junior men, while Marcus Deuling finished 55th (48:54.5), the 12th junior over the finish line. Hudson Lucier also participated, finishing 75th overall in 51:45.1 and 25th among junior men.

Next up in the Haywood NorAms series is the Olympic and world junior trials Jan. 8 to 12 in Canmore, Alta.

– With files by Cross Country Canada

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