After a somewhat disappointing set of results by local athletes at the Western Canadian Championships held in West Kelowna at their home hill of Telemark Cross Country Ski Club last month, seven members of the race team headed to Canmore to compete with the B.C. provincial team at the 84th Canadian Nordic Championships March 11 to 19.
Emily Ertel, Julia Ransom, Alexandra Myshak-Davis, Desirea Martin, Jeffrey Kerkovius, David Palmer and Kurt Behnsen all took to the track for the Telemark team.
Head coach Adam Elliot could not be there with the team as his wife was expecting, but the local club still turned in some inspired performances.
Races got under way on the Friday with the team sprints, followed by Sundays Individual Distance Free Technique, but it was Tuesday when things got interesting.
Emily Ertel received the news that her parents would not be coming out to Canmore to watch her race as her father had a minor heart attack. And if to say this one is for you dad proved she was a National Champion taking first place and the gold medal in the Junior Girls 10km Classic Race, a full 25 seconds ahead of the next racer in a field of 55 skiers.
Alexandra Myshak-Davis placed eighth in the extremely competitive Juvenile Girls 5km classic race with a field of 80 racers with the top girls placing some of the fastest lap times for the days events. David Palmer also finished eighth in his respective category.
Wednesday and Thursday continued with the Individual Classic Sprints were all seven of Telemarks racers battled it out heat after heat with the best in Canada, with Emily Ertel again making the top ten.
The last day of racing was no disappointment, Julia Ransom nursing a sore pulled leg muscle after the previous days was considering not racing, but with a green light from the physio pulled out another gold medal in the Junior Girls 7.5km Free Mass start for Team B.C. and Telemark.
David Palmer picked up a third place bronze only split seconds behind fellow B.C. team mate Colin Ferrie from Kimberly. Jeffrey Kerkovius had his first top ten finish placing eighth in the grueling Junior Male 30km distance showing why he has been on the B.C. ski team for the past few years.
With only seven skiers Telemark finished with overall aggregate points to place them 16th out of 68 teams at nationals.
It’s an achievement Telemark skiers credit to the coaching of Adam Elliot whose wife gave birth to a little Owen Scott Elliot born on March 18.