With Yukon skiers excelling on the world stage, the younger athletes back home continued their climb with Amanda Thomson and Derek Deuling each winning both of their races at the B.C. Championships.
Members of the Yukon ski team were in Kelowna on the weekend to race in preparation for the national championships in early March.
“For us it was just a good opportunity to get some quality races to keep getting ready for the national championships,” ski team head coach Alain Masson said after returning from the meet. “I think it’s always good for them to race with some of the athletes who will be at nationals.”
Deuling won both his races in the juvenile boys division by a substantial margin as did Amanda Thomson in the junior girls division as the two racers continued their success from the Western Canadian Championships.
Deuling won the seven-kilometre free technique race in a time of 20:17.5. The second place finisher was 20 seconds back. Sasha Masson finished just off the podium in fourth place, just over a second back of third.
Ben Puskas rounded out the Whitehorse skiers in ninth.
In the junior girls race, Thomson won her heat handily, 22 seconds over second place. But she had the fourth fastest overall time with three skiers in the first heat finishing ahead.
Hannah Jirousek placed fifth in the same heat in a time of 24:29.
In the five-kilometre classic technique race, Deuling again rose to the top winning again by about 20 seconds over his next closest competitor in the same heat.
Masson finished in seventh spot with Puskas finishing in 17th place. Thomson won her heat in the junior girls race and had the fifth fastest overall time. Jirousek finished fourth in the heat.
Masson said they decided not to participate in the relays except for one junior boys team because they don’t want to race too many times before a very busy March for the team.
“Our athletes are going to have to do nationals and Arctic Winter Games,” Masson said. “Nine races in two weeks in March. We want people to stay healthy and stay rested.”