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Lappe Nordic, RMR Claim Team Sprint Titles at Canadian Nationals

The Lappe Nordic team of Andy Shields and Michael Somppi won the team sprint at the 2015 Canadian Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The pair won Saturday’s race with a time of 14:04.59. They were followed by the Foothills Nordic team of Jess Cockney and Kevin Sandau, who trailed by 2.53 seconds. In third were Colin Abbott and Knute Johnsgaard of Whitehorse. They crossed the line 5.85 seconds behind the winning time.

“Somppi and I had a really good day,” Shields wrote in an email. “Our strategy was to have me push hard on the second and third legs to get a comfortable gap so Somppi could cruise into the finish … It’s absolutely thrilling to win for the home crowd here in Thunder Bay. A great start to the competitions for the fans. I’m glad my form came together for today’s race and it should bode well for the rest of the races.”

“It’s awesome to be home, racing on the trails I grew up skiing on,” Somppi wrote. “We’ve been thinking about this race all season and we definitely had our sights on gold so it feels great to realize that goal. I personally didn’t feel amazing out there today.  I was skiing ok, but I felt a little flat, understandably after travelling back from Europe only I’ve days ago.  Fortunately Andy Shields was crushing it out there today.  He was able to give me a sizeable lead and I just had to keep it together to bring home the win.”

In the women’s team sprint, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Andrea Dupont won for Rocky Mountain Racers. Their time of 16:29:55 bested the second place team from Nakkertok, made up of Katherine Stewart-Jones and Perianne Jones, by 2.55 seconds. In third was Annah Hanthorn and Dahria Beatty of Whitehorse who trailed by 4.38 seconds.

“Team sprint day was a great start to nationals. After being overseas racing it feels great to be back racing with my home club,” Dupont wrote in an email. “Maya, my teammate, had a super strong last lap and put us in a solid lead. It was a fun day and great to see so many club with strong teams.”

“The race was a little hairy at times,” Perianne Jones wrote. “The course wasn’t the widest for skate sprinting with so many girls close together, so there was quite a bit of contact, which was fun and something Canadians don’t get to experience much!”

Results: men | women


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