Black Jack racers Locke down the podium at Sovereign Lake
The Black Jack racers had another strong showing this past weekend as the Haywood NORAM series made a stop in Sovereign Lake. Peter Locke picked up his second victory of the season, this time in the 1km juvenile boys classic.
As the team returns home for the NorAm at Black Jack this weekend coach Dave Wood is pleased with the team’s results thus far.
“In their categories they are racing against most of the strong racers in the country so there’s been a couple of really good performances for the team so far. The course at Sovereign Lake was tough so I think we were quite pleased with the weekend.”
The course Sovereign Lakes was tougher than usual with the addition of a new bridge allowing a stretch of new hills to be added to the sprint course. The challenging course seemed to be of liking to the Locke brothers Peter and Julien however.
After dominating the qualifying round with a time of 2:41:33, beating the next nearest qualifier by over five seconds, the final sprint race, pitted brother vs brother. As the top six racers against one another in an all out sprint for the win, Rossland brothers Julien and Peter Locke lined up together. Ultimately Julien took the gold while Peter brought home the bronze with a third place result.
Locke’s victory in the spring came on the heels of his victory in the distance race the weekend before in Canmore. During that same weekend Julien Locke was leading the sprint race by a significant margin before snapping a pole and falling back to sixth.
Shawn deGroot, also of Black Jack finished 14th among the 37 racer field.
Jill Reynolds and Susanne Fraser competed for Black Jack in the girl’s juvenile division in Saturday’s sprints. After posting the third fastest qualifying time Reynolds was edged off the podium by Jennifer Jackson of the Ontario Ski Team in the finals finishing the event in third. Susanne Fraser finished 11th.
Sunday saw the Black Jack junior racers step up into the open categories of the 10km women and 15km men free races.
“On Sunday they raced in the wide open categories so against senior aged people,” added Coach Dave Wood. “That was in preparation for the upcoming weekend’s NorAm in Rossland. It’s always good for the kids to get in there with the best of the best at these races and get some experience racing with the more experienced racers.”
In the Men’s 15km free NorAm race on Sunday Lars Flora took the win. Black Jack racers fared well and gained experience with Geoffrey Richards’s finishing 34th, Julien Locke 74th, Shawn DeGroot 77th and Peter Locke 79th in the 87 racer field.
In the Women’s 10km free Black Jack’s Rebecca Reid was eight of 21 in her age group and 47th of 67 overall. Jill Reynolds was 10th of 21 in her age group and finished 49th overall.
Up next for the BJ racers will be the Black Jack hosted NorAm on the 18th and 19th. A home town cheering section should help calm the nerves of the racers as they prepare to attack their home track.
“They’re looking forward to it this weekend,” added Wood. “They are a little nervous racing at home but they are excited about it if there are sufficient conditions to race this weekend. The kids will prepare just like they would if this was somewhere else; nothing different to speak of in that regard but they’ll be excited for sure and working on staying calm particularly in the start.”
If all goes well there may yet be Rosslanders mining for gold in town again this weekend albeit with poles and skinny skis as our young Nordic racers continue to challenge the best the country has to offer.