Nordic skiers head to provincial championships

Rookie Julie McVicar turns in top performances in Gatineau, finishes first and second

The men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams concluded their regular season last weekend in Gatineau
with some outstanding results and a clear idea of what to expect at tomorrow’s provincial championships, hosted by the Nakkertok Cross-Country Ski Club in Ottawa.

“I think, overall, the team met our expectations,” head coach and skier Ian Myles said. “Everyone
went out and competed hard.”

Rookie racer Julie McVicar led the pack with a second place finish in the 7.5-kilometre Classic on Saturday. She finished first in Sunday’s 10-kilometre race. Myles said he expected big things from McVicar when she joined the team.

“From what I knew of Julie from the [club] race circuit, she had some pretty good results.”

McVicar’s older sister Lisa also finished in the top 10 in Sunday’s race, crossing the line in sixth place.
Jakob van Dorp was Queen’s top finisher in the men’s 10-kilometre Classic on Saturday, finishing in 10th place. Though Queen’s skiers compete only against other university athletes, they raced with skiers from clubs all over Ontario and Quebec on Saturday. Myles said it’s tough to compare club and
university athletes.

“It’s difficult to measure against club teams just because of the difference in the amount of training they do.” He said the team does most of its training at Fort Henry Hill, but they can occasionally be spotted making trails through City Park. The team also participates in strength training workouts several times per week. Myles said gym workouts make a noticeable difference to an athlete’s performance. “Cross-country skiing is a very training intensive sport, so in order to properly recover from race weekend, it’s important to make those training sessions during the week.”

The team tapered its training this week, Myles said, to give the athletes time to recover from last weekend’s races and rest up for tomorrow’s championships. The team will be leaving for Ottawa race today. Myles said they like the chance to ski the race course at least once before every race. If the skiers haven’t trained at a particular venue earlier in the year, they usually leave Kingston a day early.
Myles has high expectations for his squad, but he said he has faith that Queen’s can deliver.

“I think we’re hoping for at least our women’s team to compete for medals,” he said. “On the men’s
side we’d be pretty happy with a top five or six.”

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