AUSXC Junior Development Team – Canmore Report

The Australian Junior Development team arrived into Canmore last week after 4 weeks of training in Silver Star to race the Western Canadian Championships/ Nor-Am Races. These races saw the athletes take on many of the best athletes in Canada.

The team was fortunate to be able to work with the Canmore Nordic Ski Club, arguably the strongest club team in the nation. Resident coach and Australian National Coaching Director Allison McArdle helped set this up.


Australian Junior Team athletes Finlay Clarke and Stella Ajani

The weekend started on Thursday with a race starting and finishing on Lake Louise, which is one of the most picturesque places in all of Canada. The race saw Australia represented by NSW local Sarah Slattery. Sarah posted a strong result on a relatively flat 10km course, finishing in 17th, 8.25 behind world cup skier Emily Nishikawa.

Friday’s races saw the junior athletes race in the 5km classic interval start on arguably one of the toughest courses on the world cup circuit. This saw some impressive results posted by the athletes with Finlay Clarke finishing in 16th, only 1.16 behind national champion Ty Godfrey, Matthew Bull in 21st, Seve de Campo in 23rd and Max Lowman in 42nd. In the Girls race, Stella Ajani pulled out an impressive performance to be in 15th position, just under 2 minutes behind national champion Hannah Mehain, who is also one of the top skiers in the senior women category. Ella Jackson placed 20th, Kate Hesse placed 26th, Olivia Jeffrey placed 35th and Veronique Price placed 41st. Veronique’s result was especially impressive as she was racing with her arm in a cast due to a broken arm.

Saturday saw the athlete’s race on a fast 1km freestyle sprint loop. Again impressive results were posted, with Matthew Bull posting an impressive 18th position, behind one of Norway’s top junior sprinters Amund Wirstad. Finlay Clarke placed 29th, Hugh Pollard and Seve de Campo unlucky to make the heats placing in 35th and 36th respectively and Max Lowman placing in 44th. In the girls event Ella Jackson pulled out an impressive 15th position against the fastest in the country Hannah Mehain, Stella Ajani placed 19th, Kate Hesse in 23rd, Olivia Jeffrey was unlucky to miss out on the heats placing in 32nd, while another gutsy effort by Veronique saw her placing in 48th

Sunday’s race saw the athletes race a 10km freestyle mass start on a very tough course in tricky conditions. Again, all athletes performed impressively with Finlay Clarke placing 17th, 2 minutes behind Gareth Williams from Telemark Ski Club. Seve de Campo had an impressive race, holding onto the main pack and fading a little in the end to place 21st. Matthew Bull had trouble with his lower back which he had strained a few weeks earlier, thus making it a battle from the word go. Still he posted an amazing result, which saw him in 31st position. Hugh Pollard placed in 38th and Max Lowman in 40th. The Girls race saw Ella Jackson give the race of a lifetime, placing in 13th position behind Eliza-Jane Kitchen. Kitchen went out from start flying, splitting the field early on. Stella Ajani skied strongly and placed in 24th, Kate Hesse in 28th, Emma Pollard placed 31st and Olivia Jeffrey overcame some breathing difficulties to place in 34th.

Overall, the whole team posted impressive results, showing that their training and determination are really paying off. Next up is the Tech BC Cup in Reveltoke. A huge thank you goes out to support staff from Canmore Nordic Ski Club, especially Allison McArdle for letting the team join in with the club.


One Response

  1. Fantastic results!

    Well done to the athletes and of course Alison for making the connection.

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