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Amazing results for Nelson Nordic skiers at Western Canadians

Gabriel Janz pushes for speed during the skate sprint heats on Day 2 of the Western Canadian Championships in Kimberley. — Photo courtesy Jenny Rae Bateman Photography

Five skiers from the Nelson Nordic Ski Club attended the Western Canadian Championships in Kimberley the weekend of February 3rd, 4th and 5th.  

This race brings several hundred cross country ski racers from more than 15 clubs from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of the United States.  

Attending from Nelson were Dawson and Maya Abraham, Raya Kipkie, Aleah Smith and Gabriel Janz.  

A highlight of the event was Dawson Abraham’s 6.6 km race in the Para Nordic sitting category.  

A dedicated young athlete on the British Columbia Nordic Talent Squad, Abraham fractured his ankle earlier this season and has continued training in a sitski  — a kneeling stool on skis that you propel with your poles.  He was wildly cheered as he crossed the finish line.

Dawson’s sister Maya, on the Nordic Development Squad — a training squad feeding into the provincial team —  performed her consistent best throughout the three days of the race. She had the added challenge of being one of the youngest competitors racing in the Open Women category, at just age 16.  

Abraham placed sixth in sprints, eighth in skate distance and ninth in classic.

Kipkie skied hard and with a beaming smile she commented that the races were hard, but that she was happy with her performance.  She came in 31st in skate sprints, and 28th in skate distance.

Smith, also on the Talent Squad, won gold in skate sprints, fourth in classic, and seventh in skate distance.  Smith has collected four gold medals so far this race season.

Janz, after a major fall in skate distance (14th) and getting caught up behind falling skiers in skate sprints (10th), had a no-fall third day and to place fourth in classic.