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Wild Rumpus Sports

Gow and Vaillancourt Earn Mass Start Wins; Albertans 1-2 in Nationals Relay

Canadian National Championships continued over the weekend in Valcartier, Quebec, with mass start competitions for juniors and seniors on Saturday and then mixed relay competitions on Sunday.

In the men’s 15 k mass start, Christian Gow took his second title of the week, an 8.9-second win over fellow national team member Scott Perras. Gow had four penalties to Perras’s six over the course of four shooting stages; and crucially, one fewer in the final shooting stage. Matthew Neumann was also in the mix, finishing third with four penalties, +11.5. There was a break before Matthew Hudec crossed the line in fourth, +1:32.6, and Carsen Campbell in fifth, +2:19.7.

The junior men had a 12.5 k mass start, with Aidan Millar picking up a big win, a minute and six seconds ahead of Alexandre Dupuis though both had three penalties.

In the women’s 12.5 k mass start, Audrey Vaillancourt earned her first title of the week after being on the podium in both the sprint and the pursuit. With perfect 20-for-20 shooting, the Quebec native picked up a sizable victory, but the fight for silver was intense. With ten penalties, Zina Kocher stole second, +41.8 seconds, ahead of Emma Lunder, who had nine penalties and finished +43.9.

In the junior women’s mass start, Leila Tam Von Burg had six penalties but skied to a whopping 2:29.4 win over Charlotte Hamel, who had just one.

Youth competitors had to face individual competitions, also with four shooting bouts but with individual starts and one-minute penalties rather than a penalty loop. In the youth men’s 12.5 k individual, Youth Olympic Games team member Ben Churchill had just two penalties and raced to a 12.7-second win over Zachari BolducAdam Runnalls kept the race competitive, finishing +56.4 with seven penalties and the fastest ski time.

In the youth women’s 10 k individual, Megan Bankes shot three penalties to six by Emily Dixon, but was able to take the title by 32 seconds. Sarah Poisson-Gregoire finished third, +1:10.5.

Sunday’s mixed relays featured teams of two men and one woman, and Alberta swept the first two places in the senior category. The team of Matt Strum, Lunder, and Gow avoided the penalty loop and earned a 3:32.2 win over the second Alberta team; Tyson SmithKocher, and Millar had three penalty loops. British Columbia’s team of Arthur RootsSarah Beaudry, and Neumann picked up third, +4:39.2 with two penalty loops.

The junior mixed relay was won the Ontario team of Trevor KiersTam Von Burg, and Dupuis, with the Quebec team of BolducPoisson-Gregoire, and Teo Sanchez winning the youth mixed relay.


Saturday mass starts and individuals (for youth women, separate results)

Sunday relays