Written by OUA
Photo by Brian Doherty/Spencer Anderson
NORTH BAY, Ontario – In almost perfect conditions, the 2019 OUA Nordic Ski Championships kicked off at Nipissing University, on the campus trails.
With the defending champions, the Carleton Ravens on the women’s side and the Lakehead Thunderwolves on the men’s side looking to get off to strong starts, it was one Nipissing Lakers skier who disrupted the sweep of medals on Day 1.
For the women, Zoe Williams from Carleton edged Alannah Maclean of Lakehead by 11 seconds to claim the gold medal. Maclean grabbed the silver, finishing 10 seconds ahead of Williams’ teammate from Carleton, Maggie McClure. In total, six Ravens skiers cracked the top 10, three Thunderwolves made the cut and Emily Drake of the Lakers finished eighth, about five minutes off the pace. After the top finishers, things were spread out with Ottawa, Toronto and a pair from Nipissing finishing in the top 15.
For the men, it wasn’t all that much different. Aidan Kirkham turned in a very impressive run, finishing with a time of 37:36.2 and a gold medal for the Ravens. Lakers veteran Jordan Cascagnette was less than a minute off the leader’s time, earning a silver medal – Nipissing’s first of the three day event. Bronze went to Noah Thompson of Lakehead, who slipped past his teammate Malcolm Thompson, who finished fourth, seconds back. Lakehead finished with a total of four skiers in the top 10, Carleton had four as well, while Nipissing and Ottawa each had one.
With two more days of racing, there are several more opportunities to medal for all the skiers, but the event is off to a strong start for the defending champs on each side. The Ravens finished the day with three medals, Lakehead had two and Nipissing grabbed one.
The overall team lead, on the women’s side, goes to Carleton with 16 points, Lakehead is second with 32 points and Nipissing sits third with 59 points.
For the men, their overall rankings have Lakehead leading with 23 points, Carleton close behind with 25 and Nipissing, like the women, sit third with 47 points.
Day 2 gets underway at 10am Sunday, with the Sunday skate, 7.5km race.