Nationals Round Up
March 16 Whistler Nordics took to the road to venture to Canmore, Alberta to participate in the final event of this years racing schedule, Canadian National Championships. The team consisted of Michael Murdoch, Benita Peiffer, Mads Grodholt, Joe Davies and Mila Wittenberg. These athletes have trained since the Fall in the hopes of making their mark on the National Stage.
Since we didn’t field a team for the relay cross, our competitions started day two. This day was the Short Interval Free Skate. Distances for the athletes ranged between 5km – 10km. Whistler Nordics Athletes came out of the gate strong with Benita Peiffer taking 1st in the Junior Girl 5km Sprint. Mads Groeholdt doubled down with another gold in the Juvenile boy Category. Michael Murdoch was 28th and Joe Davies 26th in their respective categories, but they were just getting warmed up. Unfortunately Mila Wittenberg was ill and had to sit out this race.
Mads on the podium
This days competitions consisted of Medium Interval Classic Races. Not to be outdone by Mads, Joe Davies mounted an impressive race, finishing 6th and on the podium in the 7.5km race. This field was one of the largest with over 100 competitors. A great start to the day. Mads fought hard to an 11th place. Mila Wittenberg tried to mount a recover but illness won out. She came 91st. Next up was Michael Murdoch, spurred on by Joe’s success. Michael battled with the best to finish tied for 3rd in the Junior Boy Category. Benita Peiffer finished 5th in the Junior Girl 10km Sprint. A strong showing for the club put us in 10th place out of 60 clubs for the aggregate award.
Mila Wittenberg, will still under the weather participated in the Short Classic Sprints. Her qualifying time put her in 64th spot. Next up was Benita Peiffer, despite her strong qualifying time, waxing conditions did not help her advance in the heats, she ended up 21st overall. Next up was Mads. Mads fought it out to the very end, taking 8th place overall. Joe Davies ended up 18th overall. Michael Murdoch missed the final heat by seconds, ultimately winning the B final and taking 7th place overall. This was a challenging day for wax techs with conditions changing every 10 mins.
Day Eight Races
After a few rest days, the team was ready to show its colours in the Mass Start events. Unfortunately Mila had to bow out due to illness. Conditions were very warm and soft which made the courses that much more difficult. Benita Peiffer mounted the first challenge, finishing 4th overall, 3rd Canadian. Next up was Michael Murdoch in the 15km Mass start. By now conditions were slush at best. Michael gutted out a strong showing, finishing 5th in his category. Lastly Mads and Joe finished up in the Juvenile Boy Category 10km Mass Start. Mads ended up 5th with Joe a respectable 17th.
That ended the Nationals for the Whistler Nordics. As a club, Michael and Benita ended up 2nd overall Nationally in their respective categories. Joe Davies was 6th best athlete in his group. Unfortunately, since it was a National Championships, Mads’ accomplishments were not recognized in the aggregate score. Overall as a club we ended up 18th our of 62 clubs. An awesome showing given we had only 5 Athletes. This kids worked very hard since September and should be proud of what they accomplished. Well done!
The full results from the Haywood Nationals can be found on Zone 4: