Making their mark

The Okanagan was well represented at the National Cross Country Skiing Championships in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Eighteen local cross-country skiers from the Telemark Nordic Ski Club in West Kelowna competed against over 600 athletes from across Canada, the USA and Europe, and the Telemark squad achieved its best-ever result by finishing 8th overall in the Team Aggregate competition.   
Over the course of the week, the athletes braved a mix of snow flurries, clear skies, and freezing temperatures.

Highlights of the week included silver and bronze medal performances by Ian Williams in the Classic and Free technique, and Free Sprint. Williams added to his medal haul by teaming up with fellow KSS student, Cole Turner, to earn silver in the Junior Boys Team Sprint. Numerous other Telemark athletes achieved top 10 aggregate awards at the week-long competition:

  • Juvenile Boys (2003)              Gregor Graham (3rd) and Ian Mayer (6th)
  • Juvenile Boys (2002)              Connor Hobbs (8th)
  • Junior Boys (2001)                  Cole Turner (3rd)
  • Junior Boys (2000)                  Ian Williams (4th)
  • Junior Women (1999)             Jenna Sim (5th)
  • Junior Men (1999)                   Tallon Noble (5th)
  • Junior Women (1998)             Hannah Mehain (3rd)
  • U23 Men                                 Gareth Williams (4th) and Thomas Hardy (6th)

“The Telemark program is attracting some the best young talent in the nation,” says Telemark Head Coach, Adam Elliot. Telemark has developed affiliation agreements with UBC-O and Okanagan College that enable elite athletes to pursue a post-secondary education while training full time. “Cross country skiers do not achieve their peak athletic potential until their mid to late twenties, so anything we can do to support these athletes academically while they are training at a high level is key to retaining them in the sport.

We also have some of the best snow and cross country skiing facilities in Canada. Between Telemark, Sovereign Lake, Vernon, Big White and Nickel Plate in Penticton, our athletes can ski on snow six to seven months of the year. That provides our skiers with a huge competitive advantage, and with the record-setting snow levels at Telemark this year, our athletes will be able to ski through May,” added Elliot. 

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