Dahria Beatty and Jesse Cockney Finish on Top in Nordiq Thunder Distance Races
CANMORE, Alta.—Olympians Dahria Beatty and Jesse Cockney topped the field in the Nordiq Thunder skate-ski distance races under ideal conditions at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Thursday.
Dahria Beatty, who hails out of the Whitehorse Ski Club, dusted the women’s field in her four trips around the four-kilometre loop. The 25-year-old Beatty clocked a winning time of 18:43.3 in her final pre-season tune-up.
“I’m really happy with my fitness overall. I felt that today,” said Beatty, who was second in Wednesday’s sprint event. “Yesterday I was missing the top end speed in the sprinting. I have a few weeks until the start of the World Cup so that is lots of time to tune that up. Overall it has been a good training season. There has been lots of good training partners in Canmore this season which has been awesome. It was lots of fun today.”
The next best finisher in the women’s individual start race was another National Ski Team member, Katherine Stewart-Jones. The Chelsea, Que. resident stopped the clock at 18:59.1 to lock up second spot. Olympic biathlete, Emma Lunder of Vernon, B.C., rounded out the women’s podium in third place at 19:13.1.
Jesse Cockney, a member of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad who is now a part-time club-level coach at Foothills Nordic, turned back the clock to win a nail biter in the men’s 12-kilometre skate-ski race.
The 30-year-old edged out fellow Canmore, Alta. resident, Sam Hendry, by .1 second (25:52.1) to snag the victory.
“I felt like I was going fast off the start. Being in the mix early keeps driving you. I think giving yourself a chance off the bat is the best way to get in it at the end,” said Cockney, who is still very active and training regularly while attending university. “I started getting a lot of conflicting splits out there, so I didn’t really know where I was at. I just went as hard as I could, so I kept driving.”
The 20-year-old Hendry clocked-in at 25:52.2 for second place. Graham Ritchie, of Parry Sound, Ont., finished 22 seconds off the leading pace at 26:14.5 to claim the final spot on the senior men’s podium.
It was a family affair on the podium for the Hendry clan. Sam’s younger sister, Isobel, posted the winning time in the junior women’s eight-kilometre race at 20:07.0. Both of the Hendry’s represented Canada at the 2019 World Junior Championships.
Benita Peiffer, of Whistler, B.C., was second with a time of 20:11.7, while yesterday’s junior women’s sprint winner, Jasmine Drolet of Rossland, B.C., placed third at 20:25.0.
Calgary’s Tom Stephen won the junior men’s race after taking six rips around the man-made snow-covered loop in a time of 26:30.7. Quebec’s Olivier Leveille, who is from the Club de ski de fond du Mont-Orford, punched a second-place time of 26:38.0. Joe Davies, of Whistler, B.C., was third at 26:41.0.
Canada’s top cross-country ski athletes will officially begin their competitive campaign, December 6-8, when they return to the Canmore Nordic Centre for the season-opening Haywood NorAm races.
Complete Distance Results: https://zone4.ca/race/2019-11-14/0851ff04/results/
Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para-nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, Nordiq Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Nordiq Canada, please visit us at www.nordiqcanada.ca.