February was a busy month for the Nelson Nordic Racers with competitions occurring every weekend. A highlight for the athletes was the B.C. Midget Championships, a provincial meet for athletes 12 and under, and the BC Games that for cross-country skiing events are restricted to competitors ages 13 or 14.
Two 13-year-old Nelson athletes, Maya Abraham and Kaelum Smith, represented Nelson in Fort St. John at the BC Games from Feb. 21-23 on a team of 12 from the Zone 1 Kootenay team. Abraham placed third in the 3.5-km individual classic event, fourth in the freestyle sprint event and fourth in the mixed relay team event. Smith placed 11th in both classic and freestyle events and 12th in the mixed relay.
“The racing was fast paced and fun, and there were lots of fun things organized for the athletes outside of racing,” said Abraham.
On the same weekend, a younger contingent of five athletes raced at the B.C. Midget Championships at Stake Lake outside of Kamloops.
The first day of racing was a two-km individual classic event. In this event Dawson Abraham took first place, Aleah Smith fourth, Cedric Chewter eighth and Tuzo Sevigny 16th.
Aleah won one of a handful of technique awards handed out at the championships.
“This award is difficult to get,” said coach Doris Hausleitner. “Only five kids out of 250 receive it each year. Aleah should be so proud of this achievement and how hard she has worked to improve her skiing this year.”
In the sprint skate event where six kids ski head-to-head on a technical 300-metre course, Dawson placed first in his category, Aleah was fifth, Chewter 10th, Sevigny 24th and Zane Khosla 28th.
A highlight of the championships is the relay event where athletes dress up in costumes and race. Of note was a performance by Khosla, who had been in the hospital earlier that morning for breathing problems. Despite this, he refused to miss the relay event and let his teammates down.
The Nelson boys team the Hustling Harrys placed 11th.