Welcome to Nationals 2022! The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club is excited to have participants, coaches, parents and family participating in and supporting the racing. Nationals took place in Whistler BC from March 20-27th, 2022.
Here are some ‘road reports’ from our travelling athletes:
Day 1 – Interval Start Free Technique (skate)
After conquering the Duffy Lake Road, we settled into our respective AirBnB’s in Whistler and Squamish. The next day we arrived at Whistler Olympic Park for an official training day, and we could feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. The 2022 Canadian Olympic team were pre-skiing around us, and the parents went photo crazy when they found out Jesse Diggins’ wax cabin was next door to ours. Fiona and Lutza even got almost every female Olympian to sign their new pink and blue headbands!
After a long night’s sleep, we woke up to our first race day, a skate interval start. Start times ranged from Ruby in the Para Nordic category at 9am all the way to Elliot at the very end of the day. With each race, the adrenaline was pumping and Revelstoke athletes excelled despite the tricky conditions and foot-deep trenches of slush.
Racing around the 2010 Olympic trails was a motivator for all, and our notable results included a podium-dominating finish from Alexandra Luxmoore and Maeve MacLeod who took 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the U18 Girls. Three other Revelstoke athletes cracked the top 30 including Meya Musseau in 11th place (U16 Girls), Sierra McBain in 24th place(U18 Girls), Cara Gordon in 30th (U20 Girls), and Gina Cinelli in 15th place (Senior Women).
After celebrating at the awards ceremony everyone was happy to go home for a well-deserved rest before another day of racing.
We owe our success to the support from our waxers, coaches, the hillside cheering squad, and fans from home. A big thanks to all!
– Maeve MacLeod and Alexandra Luxmoore
Day 2 – Interval Start Classic
The second day of racing at Nationals was classic distance and in typical Whistler style, the weather hovered around zero with mixed precip. But never fear, our incredible wax team of Zach, Cam, and Jeff pulled out all the stops, testing hairies, zeroes, and klister to get everyone the best grip, with Revelstoke athletes outstriding many other clubs on the climbs.
At Whistler Olympic Park (WOP), the nerves were high and so was the excitement. To defuse the tension our friends from Vernon had an air-filled couch that was inflated by holding it in the air and sprinting—talk about a good warmup activity! Around the stadium, everyone had their eyes peeled for Jessie Diggins (American 3x Olympic medallist), here for SuperTour Finals. Having Olympians and World Cup elites from both Canada and the US here at these combined Canadian Nationals and US SuperTour finals is super inspiring for junior athletes to get to see firsthand.
Today the U20s and older had laps 5km, while the U18s and younger had laps of 2.5km. This meant that the course saw a lot of action and took a real beating from having over 700 athletes tackle its hills and corners. Ruby, racing in the para category today, started us off with a strong performance on her sit ski. Cara, Gina, Marlie and Beth (last two racing for the Academy team as well as representing Revy in the club aggregate) then took on a hilly 10km. As they flew through the course, Elliot and Tobin warmed up for their 10km, Meya tested some skis and Alexandra, Sierra, and Maeve arrived on site. As our senior racers sped to the finish, it was a good day all round with Marlie taking 12th and Cara top 25 for U20 women, and Gina a strong 16th for U23/Senior Women.
With unusually late, post-lunch start times, it was finally JD’s time to shine. Tobin was the first to head nervously to the start area, having to take on 10km, twice as long as the U16 girls. The distance did not affect Toby G though as he tore up the course literally and figuratively! Next out of the start was Elliot who had a fantastic race, showing off his excellent climbing technique on a course that was practically all hills, and cracking the top 10.
Soon it was the turn of the U16 and U18 girls to take on the high traffic and slushy hills of the 2.5km. At one point there were about 300 athletes on the course simultaneously, making for exciting pack racing. Fiona, Lutza and Meya—our U16 girls—seemed almost to have grown wings and flew up the course despite the destroyed tracks. Maeve started just a few minutes behind Meya and almost burned holes in the snow with her speed and determination. Alexandra and Sierra were the last Revelstokians to head out and showed everyone how it’s done with their ability to dig deep into the deathly dark pain cave.
As our girls flew through the finish line, Maeve was foaming at the mouth, Xan thought her legs were going to fall off, Meya couldn’t see straight, and Sierra couldn’t believe she was still alive. These are the feelings we love because they mean we truly gave it our all on the day. These girls finished with amazing results too! In U16 girls, Meya took the overall win, while Fiona (racing up) and Lutza cracked the top 55 and 40 respectively in a very deep and strong field. Maeve and Xan took 4th and 7th in U18, while Sierra snagged a strong top-40. Everyone was stoked with their results and beyond proud to represent Revelstoke and BC on the national scene.
We left WOP with a little more hardware, big smiles, no klister and lots of excitement for the next races, which is U20 sprints on Wednesday and junior sprints on Thursday. Once again, a HUGE thank you to Zach, Cam, and Jeff for the amazing, under-pressure waxing job, and to the best cheerleaders out there, all the Revy parents who were volunteering, photographing, and providing cheering and motivation at critical points on the course. Go Revy! Stayed tuned for the sprints!
– Cara Gordon and Meya Musseau
Day 3 – Rest Day
Days 4 & 5 – Classic sprints
After a day of resting (and shopping!) on Tuesday, the RNSC athletes were ready for classic sprint events. The sprints were split up into two days, with the older skiers (and all para-skiers) racing on Wednesday and the younger skiers racing on Thursday. Unfortunately for the U20, Open, and Para athletes, Wednesday ended up being the rainiest day of the week. This made for difficult waxing conditions, but our super duper wax & coach team pulled it off once again! On Wednesday, most of our Revy skiers raced a 1.2km course. Ruby raced a 750m course on her sit-ski. Starting with an interval start qualifier in the morning, the top 30 in each category advance to compete in heats a few hours later. Revelstoke took home excellent results: Marlie with 8th in U20 Women, Cara 27th in U20 Women, Beth comes 33rd in Open Women, and Gina 39th in Open Women.
On Thursday, our U16 and U18 Revy representatives Elliot, Alexandra, Maeve, Meya, and Tobin raced a 1.0km course. Sprint heats are known for seeing plenty of crashes and mix-ups. Revelstoke athletes raced very tactically and managed to avoid any crashes. All the British Bulldog and Capture the Flag practice during the winter paid off! With the help of fast skis and loud cheering, Revy finished with more awesome results: Elliot placed 4th in U18 boys category and Alexandra claimed the title of National Champion in the U18 girls with Maeve following close behind with a 4th place finish. Meya Muss with a silver medal from the finals in U16 girls, and Tobin placed 20th in U16 boys from the quarter final heats. Way to go, Revy!
Day 6 – Team Sprints
The most exciting team event of the week started with a qualifier for each two-person team. Each team member skied a lap of the 750m course as fast as possible. The team members’ times were added together to place teams into a finals heat. The early morning conditions were hard and fast, and this allowed the RNSC athletes to post some quick times.
After a few hours of resting, cheering, and refueling, it was time for the heats to start. In the Challenge Girl’s category, we had the Red Devils (Maeve and Alexandra) & Class 4 Avalanche (Sierra and Meya). These speedy girls would make the A final. Each skier would ski the course twice, tagging off to the other athlete between laps. There was barely a chance to catch your breath before your next lap as it took about 90s to complete one lap. The Red Devils would lead from the start and take the win with Class 4 Avalanche holding in a strong 6th in a category with 73 teams!
Tobin and Elliot raced in the Challenge Boy’s category as ‘The Trailer Park Boys’. They battled it out in the C final to cross the line first, with a time beating many of the teams in the B final. Impressive!
In the Open Women’s category our club members Marlie and Beth were able to switch out their Academy suits for the red Revy suits. These lucky ladies would ski the course four times each. Revy Rainforest Runaways (Marlie and Cara) had a strong showing in the C final and were able to dig deep and cross the line first. In the B final we had Girls From The Block (Gina and Beth) their name would be quite fitting as they grew up on the same block! After eight grueling laps they would come across as 4th fastest.
As always, the day would not have been possible without a ton of hard work from all our coaches, waxers, and parents. A continued theme throughout the week and year!
Now we rest for the long distance day on Sunday!
– Gina Cinelli
Day 7 – Mass Start Free (Skate)
Today was the last race day at Nationals for Revelstoke, and unfortunately Whistler gave us a very ‘coastal’ send off. The rain poured on and off throughout the day making the snow conditions very challenging, especially since it was the distance event and many competitors were facing the longest race of their lives.
Gina Cinelli was our first racer and she battled it out in a field of 72 racers to claim 18th place in her 45km race. Beth Granstrom earned a spot beside the podium placing 5th in U23 Women, and Marlie Molinaro placed 14th in U20. Next was the U18 Boys’ race and Elliot navigated his way through the rain and carnage to place 22nd. Then it was the U18 Girls’ turn to brave the course. Alexandra took 4th place and Maeve turned in the fastest time becoming the national champion. Meya Musseau and the U16 Girls had some of the worst conditions of the day, and organizers turned on the stadium lights and made a last-minute course change for safety reasons. Meya crossed the finish line in 5th place and this result earned her the 1st Place Aggregate Award for the series, the top U16 Girl in Canada!
Alexandra Luxmoore and Maeve MacLeod both had incredibly strong results through the week and their Day 7 results gave Alexandra 2nd place overall with Maeve close behind in 3rd place. After our 7-day test on the National stage, Revelstoke can be proud to say it produces some of the fastest skiers in the country.
On behalf of all the athletes, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the parents, waxers, and coaches who helped us at Nationals. We also want to give a special thank you to Coach Zach for such a fun and successful season and to the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club for all the support they have given to the race team this year.
Day 8 – The Drive Home
As we packed our bags and loaded up the vehicles with all our wet gear, there were still smiles on the faces of our tired athletes. In terms of weather, Whistler gave us everything expected and then some. Many of the days we awoke to warm temperatures and race courses treated with fertilizer to ensure somewhat firm conditions. We skied in new snow, we skied in rain, we skied on ice, we skied in slush – all with a winning attitude.
As I reflect on our 10 days at Nationals, the word I keep coming back to is resiliency. The Revelstoke athletes approached the less than ideal conditions with aplomb, they turned rain, snow, ice, and slush to their advantage. They approached each race day with confidence knowing they had the skill to navigate the tough climbs and the treacherous downhills. They also showed that as individuals and as a team, Revelstoke Nordic is a top club in Canada. As coach, I feel proud of the confidence, skill, grit, and heart that our skiers showed, and I’m grateful for the experiences we’ve shared at Nationals. As we put Ski Nationals 2022 in our rear view mirror, I am very excited about the road ahead for Revelstoke Nordic.
Thanks to Whistler and Black Tusk for putting on a fantastic week of racing. Thanks to our great wax techs, coaches, and parents for a true team effort in Whistler. Here’s to Ski Nationals 2023!
-Zach Hill, RNSC Head Coach