Fast times at Sovereign Lake

Some of the fastest cross-country skiers in North America went head-to-head at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre last weekend

The Haywood NorAm & Sprints/USSA SuperTour races are a national series for Canada and the U.S., sanctioned by Cross Country Canada (CCC) and the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA).

“This year’s NorAm was a showcase for Sovereign Lake Nordic Club’s experienced organizing committee, volunteers and, of course, the wonderful snow and weather,” said Pat Pearce, Chief of Event. “It’s important for us to host such events as a statement of our commitment to help foster the sport at all levels.”

More than 550 athletes descended on Vernon for the two-day event which included both skate and classic technique races along gruelling courses. Distances range from 1.3 km (sprint) to 15 km (medium distance for the Open Men category).

Bob Thompson, of Thunder Bay, Ont., a PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic hopeful, made his presence known in the sprints Saturday with the first win of the 2017-18 NorAm season.

“I was happy with my qualifying spot and focussed on staying near the front in the heats to control things,” said Thompson. “I felt solid and strong in the finish and had probably my closest sprint finish ever.”

The fastest woman around the course Saturday, Kaitlynn Miller (Carftsbury, Vermont), raved about the superb at Canada’s largest cross-country ski club this past weekend.

“The course was a lot of fun and the conditions were unbeatable,” said Miller.

A number of Vernon athletes competed, including National Junior Ski Team member Hannah Mehain who took home gold in the sprints and placed eighth the following day in the 10-km with a time of 31:11.

Full race results can be found online.

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