Ben Milley. Photo: Dan Plouffe
By Anne Duggan
Alia Sanger may have bigger fish to fry as a cross-country skier than the national capital high school championships, but there isn’t a better venue to bake cookies.
That was the treat the Lisgar Collegiate Institute student made to support her teammates, though she certainly deserved one herself after completing the sweep of the senior girls’ category in her final high school race on Feb. 14 at Nakkertok Nordic in Cantley.
“It might be pretty with all of the snow, but it made for much tougher conditions,” commented the Chelsea Nordiq club skier who’d captured an Eastern Canadian 10 km free title earlier in February. “But, it is so great to ski with a team.”
The team atmosphere was a repeated refrain for many of the top athletes explaining why they choose to race for their high schools when they’ve got more important competitions on their schedules.
The national capital event drew another pair of champions from the Feb. 3-5 Easterns – Nakkertok/Glebe’s Ben Milley (10 km skate) and Pierre Grall-Johnston (7.5 km classic & 3 km prologue).
“It was fun,” signalled Nepean skier Nick Cheney, who blasted his closest competitors at city finals by over 2 minutes and 3 1/2 minutes in his two races. “I didn't do school skiing every year in high school, but I came back to the team this year and it was so much fun that I am looking forward to skiing at university.”
Ravens romp to OUA banner sweep
The capital enjoyed banner success at the university level too, with the Carleton Ravens men’s and women’s squads both earning Ontario team titles at their Feb. 24-26 provincials in Midland.
Easterns 15 km pursuit champion Zoë Williams led the Ravens women to a second consecutive Ontario crown with a pair of individual silver medals, while the Ravens men took back the provincial banner from Lakehead in a tight race.
A dozen Carleton athletes earned conference all-star status – Megan Evans, Emily Jones, Isabelle Maclean, Maggie McClure, Alyssa Stowe and Williams, along with Brendon Howard, Aidan Kirkham, Carrington Pomeroy, Patrick van Walraven, Colin Ward and Chris Weller.