Ethan Aarts, Joe Hutton win their WOSSAA races
DUNTROON – The DCVI ski team laid their lungs on the line here Feb. 12 at the WOSSAA Nordic ski championships at Highlands Nordic.
Most athletes agreed that the first 1.5 k.m. uphill portion was challenging, but allowed for an easier second half of the course.
Hazel Taylor placed fifth (17:12.43) individually in the Junior girls’ 4 k.m. race, the first Junior Saluki to cross the finish line. Her teammates, Jaden Deboer, Lili Smith and Kaitlyn Dufton, secured a bronze medal as a team, but not enough to take them to OFSAA this week at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Then, they flew in the relay event, finishing strongly in second place. All four members, and Emily Vink and Sophie Shrubsole will advance on.
DCVI Senior girl Grace Hutton completed her 5.5 k.m. race, only 2.7 seconds behind winner Elizabeth Drake (18:36.10) from Stratford St. Mikes. Her teammates Laura Vink (ninth), Sarah Black (11th) and Jenna Dufton (13th) stayed strong, but out of OFSAA contention with a third-place team finish.
The Senior girls were hungry to advance to Sudbury, so in the relay these girls turned on the rockets to win the 4×800-metre sprint.
Joe Hutton wins Senior race
The Saluki Senior boys needed some divine intervention to cover their 7.5 k.m. event. With both Marcel Scheele and Thomas Wrigley battling an influenza virus, Joe Hutton pulled it together to win the event by 9.5 seconds. His time was 24:35.
Sean Slater (sixth), Marcel Scheele (12th), Mackenzie Forman (15th) and Thomas Wrigley (17th) filled in the gaps to allow Salukis to win the team event, and capture the gold in the relay as well.
In the Junior boys category, there was little doubt that DCVI’s Ethan Aarts would handily win his race. He covered the 5.5 k.m. course in a time of 15:44.30. Owen Wrigley also reached the podium, claiming the bronze medal, with Adam DeNeve (fourth) and Sawyer Burlingham (fifth) hot on his heels. The boys secured the gold-medal win.
What no one could predict was that nine Saluki Junior boys would occupy the top 12 positions. As coach Annette Wrigley suspected, the St. Marys team had so much depth and was so strong, that two Junior boys teams qualified for OFSAA this year.
The DCVI Juniors won the overall combined title, which allows the Junior girls to advance on, too.
Salukis’ Lydia Taylor finished first in the WOSSAA elementary girls’ 2.3 k.m. race. Her time was 8:49.60.
Congratulations and good luck to the 27 ski team members (a school record) who qualified for OFSAA in Sudbury, Feb. 21-23.
Two categories at OFSAA this year
Coach Wrigley says athletes will compete in two categories at the 2018 OFSAA.
“There’s a new ruling at OFSAA this year,” she told the Independent last week.
“Kids will be put into two different categories for individual day. One is for the high school athlete (all DCVI skiers), and other skiers will be placed in the ‘Open category.’ (Those athletes are coached by a club coach).”
Wrigley says it should help Salukis’ chances of bringing home medals.