Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for December 19, 2013

Yukon trio satisfied with ‘solid results’ in Italy

As competition winds down at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy, three Yukon athletes said they are content in knowing they gave their best for their country on the world stage.

By Marcel Vander Wier on December 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm

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Photo submitted

WORLD STAGE – Whitehorse native Ryan Burlingame competes in a biathlon event at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy this week. Photo courtesy TEAM CANADA STAFF

As competition winds down at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy, three Yukon athletes said they are content in knowing they gave their best for their country on the world stage.

Whitehorse biathlete Ryan Burlingame was reached in Trentino this morning.

“The experience at the Universiade has been amazing,” he told the Star.

“This is my first time out of the country to participate in a sporting event, and it reminds me of a much more competitive and high-skill Arctic Winter Games.”

The 22-year-old competed in a variety of events, finishing with the mixed relay yesterday, a race in which the Canadians were lapped en route to a ninth-place finish.

Burlingame opened his competition last Friday, finishing 49th in the 20-km individual race with a time of 1:05:32.4. On Sunday, he finished 45th in the 10-km sprint (28:50.6).

Then Monday, Burlingame finished 48th in the 12.5-km pursuit, nine minutes, 17 seconds back of the Russian winner.

“I am satisfied with my races,” said the fifth-year University of Alberta Augustana Vikings athlete. “As usual though, there are certain little things here and there that I wish I could have performed or taken my time a little bit more in my shooting in the individual events. But apart from that, it’s been quite good.”

Burlingame described Trentino as “rustic.” The athletes are spread out through small villages in a valley connected by a road and ski trails, he said.

“It’s quite amazing,” he admitted. “I feel very proud to not only be Canadian, but also a Yukoner.”

Burlingame qualified for the Universiade at last year’s nationals. He said he hopes to get another crack at the Winter Universiade in 2015, when it will be held in Spain.

The biennial international multi-sport event is open to competitors between ages 17 and 28. Athletes must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution or have graduated in the year preceding the event.

While Burlingame competed in biathlon, Carleton University’s Lee Hawkings and Kendra Murray represented Canada with the cross-country ski team.

“I am quite satisfied with my results so far,” Hawkings said. “I am very proud of our team for posting solid results when many of the other countries are on a different playing field. It is great to be competitive with so many amazing athletes here, even if we are not challenging for medals.”

While never in medal contention, the 22-year-old said that was to be expected for the Canuck contingent.

“In Canada, we get very little special treatment in our academic life as student athletes, while athletes from other countries are studying sport and are basically professional athletes,” said last season’s MVP for the Carleton Ravens ski team.

On Tuesday, Hawkings finished 75th overall in the 10-km free race with a time of 26:36.8.

Today, the Yukoner was slated to ski in the 4x10-km relay and on Saturday, he will finish up with the 30-km men’s classic distance race.

Murray, named Sport Yukon’s national athlete of the year last month for her skiing and orienteering prowess, said she was “pretty happy” with her results at the world games.

“These are the first races of the season, so there is room for improvement, but I have been going out there and pushing hard, and that’s all I can really ask for,” Murray told the Star.

“It’s hard to know you’ve had a fairly good race and then look at the results, but there’s a lot of good skiers here and that is part of what makes this an amazing experience.”

On Tuesday, Murray finished the five-km free race with a time of 15:04.7, good for 62nd overall.

Today, Murray was slated to compete in a 3x5-km relay, and tomorrow she will finish up with a 15-km classic mass start ski.

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