Written by Carleton Sports Information
Photo by CCUNC
THUNDER BAY, ON — In the final event of the varsity season, the Carleton Ravens Nordic ski team competed at 2018 Canadian Colleges and Universities Nordic Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario from March 10-14.
With the Ravens only a few weeks removed from a pair of team podium finishes at the OUA Championship, Carleton was well represented at the Lappe Nordic Centre, where teams from across the country gathered for the annual national showcase of the country’s top collegiate cross-country skiers.
The Ravens women’s team put forth an excellent week of races, claiming the overall team championship and besting last year’s fourth-place result. Third-year skier Zoë Williams (Cantley, QC) led the women’s team at the CCUNC with a handful of podium finishes, resulting in a third-place overall finish amongst her peers in the individual category.
Carleton’s men’s team completed a strong week with a fourth-place finish behind Laval, Lakehead and Nipissing. For a second year in a row, Aidan Kirkham (Kanata, ON) was the men’s team’s top performer with a second place overall finish in the individual rankings.
Saturday, March 10 – Day 1 – Team Sprint
Fourth-year racer Emily Jones (Huntsville, ON) and Zoë Williams (CU1) got the Ravens off to a strong start with a 1st place result in a time of 0:14:01.55, while CU2 Emma Holmes (Calgary, ON) and Maggie McClure (Halifax, NS) finished in 4th (0:14:30.26). Carleton 3, formed by Laura Inkila (Thunder Bay, ON) and Adrienne Hynes (Whitehorse, YK), came in 6th (0:15:10.73).
The East Coast boys Colin Ward (Mahone Bay, NS) and Jonah Hudec (North Sydney, NS) (CU2) had the top Carleton result, placing 9th in a time of 0:12:21.82, while CU1’s Ezra Pierce (Ottawa, ON) and Brendon Howard (Kanata, ON) came in 11th (0:12:35.87).
Sunday, March 11 – Day 2 – Classic Interval Start
Women 5km (1 x 5 km)
Zoë Williams was in the mix once again on Day 2, finishing 4th overall in a time of 0:16:14.7. Teammates Emma Holmes (15th – 0:17:37.6), Laura Inkila (18th – 0:17:54.0) and Emily Jones (19th – 0:18:01.5) and Maggie McClure (20th – 0:18:05.4) rounded out the top 20.
Men 10 km (2 x 5 km)
Sophomore Aidan Kirkham was the top Raven in the event, placing 2nd out of 38 contestants in a time of 0:28:24.2. Ezra Pierce (0:29:43.4) was the next best Carleton finisher, finishing in 16th.
Monday, March 12 – Day 3 – No Competition
Tuesday, March 13 – Day 4 – Free Pursuit
Williams maintained her excellent form with a 2nd place result (0:30:05.7) in the Free Pursuit, +31.9 behind Lisle Compton from Lakehead.
Finishing the three-lap race in 2nd place was Aidan Kirkham (0:38:26.9), finishing +21.0 behind Williams Dumas from Laval in a relatively tight finish. Ezra Pierce enjoyed a top 10 finish (0:40:47.5), his top result of the event, while Brendon Howard (0:41:33.9) placed 13th overall.
Wednesday, March 14 – Day 5 – Long Sprints Time Trial
Women – 1.3 km
On the final day, Zoë Williams had the best time from Carleton, crossing the finish line in 0:03:26.85 (+03.88) to place 3rd overall. Maggie McClure had the next best result from the Ravens, ending the event in 15th (0:03:46.31) overall.
Men – 1.3 km
Kirkham capped off his impressive week with an 11th place result (0:02:56.85) on the final day. Ezra Pierce completed the event in 20th place (0:03:04.78) overall.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAKEHEAD NORDIC SKI ASSOCIATION: