During the weekend of February 11, 12, the Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club hosted an Ontario Cup event in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Hiawatha Invitational Ski meet. Day one was the Classic event which featured interval starts of 30 seconds while day two saw a mass starts featuring the free skate technique. For many of our members and volunteers this was their first time seeing a mass start which featured a chevron start. There was a lot of excitement on both days of the events as 100 Cup points were awarded to the winners in most of the categories and a percentage of the points was awarded to individuals who finished in relation to the winner of each category. These points are important for individuals looking to make Team Ontario. During day one, classic events ranged in distance from 3.5km to 7.5km. On day two, events ranged from 3.5km to 15km.
The skiing was fast and furious on both days as conditions were optimal for the races. All of the races featured top competitors from across Ontario, Michigan and Ohio. Clubs traveled from as far west as Thunder Bay, east to Ottawa, north to Timmins and south to Ohio. In all there were 20 teams registered for this event. Some notable winners included Adam Kates, former member of the National Team, Chris Butler and Brittany Webster who had recently returned from the World Juniors, members of the National Development Team, and our own Andrew Barbeau who is having a fantastic year having just placed 3rd at the Eastern Canadian Championship.
Not to be outdone in this whole affair is our dedicated group of volunteers. If I were to name all those involved, not only would I certainly miss someone but I could not describe their importance to this event. From the person who handled drinks, handed out bibs, or looked after the stadium each and every task that they committed themselves to was as important as the next. My sincere thanks go out to each and every person who gave of their valuable time for this important event that our club committed itself to. A special thank you must be extended to the local Ontario Cup Committee as without these individuals the cup race would not have gotten off the ground. We as a club not only represented ourselves, but Cross Country Ontario and in essence Cross Country Canada. A special thanks is extended to Al White the Technical Delegate, Daphne White and Kyle Tarlton who was on loan from NOD (NOD Technical/Officials Chair).
My Sincere Thanks
Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club