Yukon skiers are posting strong results at the L.L. Bean US Cross-Country Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah this week.
The competition, which features top skiers from across the continent is taking place at the site of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
The competition is also being used by Cross Country Canada to select its teams for the junior and U23 world championships – to be held at the same location in a few weeks – and the senior world championships, which will be held in Finland in late February.
Saturday marked the first day of racing with the distance skate races kicking off the competition.
Canadian national team member and Yukoner Emily Nishikawa was Canada’s top female finisher, completing the 10-kilometre course in 11th place. Teammate Dahria Beatty was the third Canadian finisher and top U23 racer in 17th. In the U20 category, Nataline Hynes, 18, who raced under the University of Alaska Anchorage banner, was 17th.
Other female Yukoners in the U18 category included Hannah Deuling (42nd), Amanda Thomson (50th), Mira Mason (51st) and Hannah Jirousek (56th).
The men raced a 15K course and national team member Knute Johnsgaard was 11th. Caelan McLean was 36th, while Marcus Deuling, who raced for the University of Alaska Anchorage was 47th in U20 men and Michael Kishchuk was 61st in the U18 category.
The next race was the classic sprint. Nishikawa was third overall in qualifying, with Beatty close in fourth.
In the final, Beatty led for the first half of the race, but faded on the downhills and finished fourth in the A final, while Nishikawa was 21st after the quarter-finals. Hynes was 44th overall.
Johnsgaard finished 16th overall after the quarter-finals.
Yukon’s national team members shone in Tuesday’s classic distance race. Johnsgaard was the top Canadian on the 30K course and sixth overall, while Nishikawa was the top Canadian on the women’s 20K course and finished fifth overall.
In the junior races, McLean was 11th overall on the 10K course, while Deuling was and Kishchuk finished 97th. Hynes led the Yukon junior women, finishing fourth overall while Deuling was 55th, Thomson was 69th, Mason was 96th and Jirousek was 118th.
The selection races for the junior and U23 national teams for worlds has wrapped up and those teams are expected to be announced later today.
Thanks to her top-30 performances on the world cup, Beatty pre-qualified for the team.
The seniors have one race left Thursday, a skate sprint.