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Territorial Ski Championships hit the trails following month-long postponement

The 2022 Territorial Ski Championships were postponed for around a month because of the cold weather in March.
Neve Mahon heads out from the start line in the U14 girls race. James McCarthy/NNSL photo

The 2022 Territorial Ski Championships were postponed for around a month because of the cold weather in March.

Warm weather permeated the capital for a couple of weeks afterward, but didn’t affect the course too much.

The races took place at the Yellowknife Ski Club on April 9 and 10. Events were split into two different sets of races: day one featured the classic races while free technique was the focus of day two.

Wheler said it was a very busy but fun weekend of skiing.

“We had around 150 skiers on Saturday and around 65 on the Sunday,” said Kerry Wheler, the ski club’s events manager. “We had some cancellations and some didn’t show for various reasons but it’s the highest number of registrations since I’ve been involved.”

Several divisions were in play over the weekend, ranging from the U5, which raced a straight 200-metre sprint on day one, right up to the Masters Men’s and Women’s, both of which went 7.5-km on Sunday in the free technique races. No matter where they finished, each skier got a cookie medal courtesy of the McShane family, which did all the baking.

“They baked 220 cookies in total,” said Wheler. “The McShanes have taken on that task over the past couple of years and everyone loves getting one. The races are participant-focused and we encourage everyone to come out and take part. We also had the decorating station back after a couple of years away due to Covid-19 and the kids were really excited to get that chance to decorate their cookies again.”

Olympians Brendan Green and Rosanna Crawford were back in town for a second consecutive weekend and they handed out the medals to everyone on the first day, Wheler added.

One of the skiers who competed on both days was Neve Mahon. She had a fourth-place finish on day one and a second-place finish on day two, both in the U14 girls division.

Mahon said the conditions were icy because of the re-freezing of the snow due to the colder temperatures in the run-up to the event but it was still good to race.

“Having the wind on the straightaway was good,” she said, referring to the windy conditions on day two. “It’s good on the downhill sections because you get a bit more speed and you’re doing less work.”

The cold wasn’t too much of a factor, she added, with her face being most affected.

“It’s cold on the face but for the rest of the body, it’s nice because it cools you down,” she said. “I had a decent weekend … (Sunday) was better than (Saturday).”

Wheler also raced on the weekend and while she agreed with Mahon’s assessment of the icy conditions, she gave plenty of credit to the groomers who set the course before the racing began.

“They put together a fast but safe course and did an amazing job,” she said. “There was a bit of anxiety because of the weather with the thaw and freeze but the groomers are an incredible crew. They had their plan in place and they executed it. They were out in the wee hours of the morning in order to catch the conditions at the right time.”

In addition to the groomers, Wheler said the race committee, featuring folks such as John Stephenson, John Bowser, Kris Udesen, Julia Gyapay, Rosy Tutton and Lisa McShane played a huge role in making sure everything went off as well as it did.

The last weekend participation event at the ski club is the Nordic Cross on Saturday, which features an obstacle course.

Here are the results from both days of racing:

April 9 (classic)

U5 boys

1st — Theodore Yorke, 2:17.5

2nd — Owen Magee, 2:29.1

3rd — Rowan Clyne, 2:56.6

U5 girls

1st — Lorelai Reid, 2:43.8

2nd — Charlotte Segboer, 3:16.6

3rd — Emily Money, 3:32.3

U6 boys

1st — Sam Slack, 1:35.1

2nd — Sol Beaulieu, 1:44.7

3rd — Mylo Kruger, 1:47.5

U6 girls

1st — Marin Marrai, 5:02.0

2nd — Lucy Argue, 5:31.3

3rd — Nora Magee, 6:08.3

U8 boys

1st — Smith Coombs (Hay River), 7:03.1

2nd — Emile Wohlgemuth, 7:35.4

3rd — Holden Reid, 7:57.0

U8 girls

1st — Arya Townson, 7:19.1

2nd — Soleia Look, 7:40.1

3rd — Tara McShane, 7:54.4

U10 boys

1st — Dylan Skelton, 10:10.2

2nd — Jaxin Coombs (Hay River), 11:49.3

3rd — Jolliffe Mitchell, 12:33.6

U10 girls

1st — Lila Townson, 11:38.5

2nd — Vaida Marrai, 12:05.5

3rd — Emma Wheler, 12:14.9

U12 boys

1st — Toryn Wheler, 11:04.5

2nd — Jordi Casas, 12:52.5

3rd — Kason Coombs (Hay River), 13:03.4

U12 girls

1st — Liliana Marrai, 13:45.2

2nd — Kate McShane, 16:20.1

U14 boys

1st — Noah Koop, 18:49.3

2nd — Will Kanigan, 20:14.0

3rd — Oliver Reitsma, 21:44.0

U14 girls

1st — Anna Curran, 16:17.7

2nd — Caris Wood, 18:12.6

3rd — Leah McShane, 18:29.6

U16 boys

1st — Joe Curran, 17:51.4

2nd — Malachi Morin, 20:20.6

U16 girls

1st — Talia Ehrlich, 25:22.7

2nd — Skyra Pike, 27:39.2

U18 boys

1st — Morgan Young, 19:05.0

Masters Men Open

1st — Thomsen D’Hont, 16:03.6

2nd — Mike Argue, 16:05.9

3rd — Moses Hernandez, 18:34.9

Masters Women Open

1st — Shauna Morgan, 23:09.4

2nd — Jill Vaydik, 23:46.2

Masters Men Recreational

1st — Tim Thurley, 16:44.5

Masters Women Recreational

1st — Kerry Wheler, 12:46.2

2nd — Sarah Marrai, 14:10.9

3rd — Candace Decoste, 14:23.3

April 10 (free)

U8 boys

1st — Smith Coombs, 5:33.5

2nd — Emile Wohlgemuth, 7:46.9

3rd — Zakariya Benning, 8:12.4

U8 girls

1st — Tara McShane, 7:07.0

2nd — Arya Townson, 8:01.6

3rd — Sanaa Doherty, 9:12.1

U10 boys

1st — Jaxin Coombs (Hay River), 7:20.9

2nd — Dylan Skelton, 8:04.4

3rd — Jolliffe Mitchell, 9:29.9

U10 girls

1st — Lila Townson, 8:22.3

2nd — Vaida Marrai, 9:32.1

3rd —Aisha Benning, 9:48.1

U12 boys

1st — Toryn Wheler, 9:00.8

2nd — Kason Coombs, 9:32.6

3rd — Jordi Casas, 9:36.9

U12 girls

1st — Liliana Marrai, 11:18.3

2nd — Kate McShane, 11:39.0

U14 boys

1st — Noah Koop, 14:05.2

2nd — Cormac Stewart, 14:50.5

3rd — Will Kanigan, 17:21.9

U14 girls

1st — Anna Curran, 12:51.0

2nd — Neve Mahon, 13:53.5

3rd —Leah McShane, 14:29.3

U16 boys

1st — Joe Curran, 21:00.1

2nd — Malachi Morin, 22:05.0

Masters Men Open

1st — Mike Argue, 20:49.0

2nd — Brett Wheler, 21:42.4

3rd — Jacob Shank, 22:28.0

Masters Women Open

1st — Shauna Morgan, 27:33.3

Masters Women Recreational

1st — Kerry Wheler, 10:27.1

2nd — Aida Nciri, 11:46.1

Source: Zone 4

About the Author: James McCarthy

I'm the managing editor with NNSL Media and have been so since 2022.
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