Vernon’s Heather Mehain leads her classic sprint qualifier in Saturday’s race at Sovereign Lake.

Sovereign slides into sprint season

Participants from across North America competed in the first Haywood NorAm Teck Sprints of the season at Sovereign Lake Nordic Resort.

Everyone had smiles on their faces as a weekend of racing wrapped up at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre in the sunshine.

Participants from across North America competed in the first Haywood NorAm Teck Sprints of the season, including skiers from Sovereign Lake.

“It’s my first time in Canada in a couple of years, actually since the Olympics,” said 6-foot-2 Torin Koos, of the Leavenworth, Wisc. “Last time I raced here was the World Cup races 2005 so it’s really cool to come back to Sovereign Lake.”

Koos, 31, was 26th in the individual sprint classic at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, helping Team USA to ninth spot in the sprint relay.

Added Koos, who learned the sport in Washington State: “This is an incredible place to go ski, for a week, a weekend or a month.”

Sovereign’s Heather Mehain had a good start to her season in the sprint races Saturday.

“She was well dialed in. In her words, she had a perfect race for her qualifier,” said coach Darren Derochie. “So it was a fantastic start to the season that way. In her heat, I said, ‘Just go do what you do’ and she did. She duked it out, so she knows she can ski with those girls.”

The Haywood race trialed a new format, holding two classic races together. Saturday was the sprint races and Sunday featured a 15-kilometre distance race.

In Mehain’s 15-km classic race, she said: “I focused on staying long and loose. I felt I could have pushed myself sooner on the last lap, but otherwise it was a pretty good race for me.”

Vernon’s Matt Wylie, who lives and trains in Canmore with the Alberta World Cup Academy, qualified 12th in the 1.4-km sprint.

“I felt really good in the quarterfinal and won it, then got a bit bogged down in the semifinal and ended up fifth in the B final,” he said. “So overall I ended up 11th, so not such a bad day.”

On racing back at Sovereign Lake, he added: “It’s really nice. I love the trails here, and I don’t think there’s anywhere better in the world to ski.”

A team of more than 100 volunteers helped make the weekend a success, helping with everything from timing, marshalling, course preparation, ski patrol and food preparation to feed the volunteers.

“We had a very happy crew, as you heard,” said Sharon Clarke, chief of race. “Volunteers, we really need a big team to run an event like this and we have a very good team.

“We’ve been building a team of chiefs now for five or six years so experience is key. Of course it gets easier the more often you’ve done it and I’d say we have an experienced crew of chiefs.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food support continues for Vernon students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

WATCH: Enderby seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

Vernon man’s appeal of murder conviction postponed by COVID-19

William Victor Schneider was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Natsumi Kogawa in 2016

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Most Read