Stratford’s Emily Drake won a pair of gold medals at the third Ontario Cup Nordic skiing event last weekend in North Bay.
Drake, a St. Mike’s alumnae in her junior year at Nipissing, led the Lakers in the skate technique race by finishing the snowy 10km course in 32:47 — 23 seconds ahead of second place in the senior women’s division. She was also the top university skier.
On Day 2, Drake had a sizeable head start over McMaster’s Soren Meeuwisse in the 10km pursuit race, where start times are staggered based on results from the previous day.
Drake, a bachelor of physical and health education major, extended her lead in the race to nearly one minute and had the fastest time of the day.
“The team built into this Ontario Cup race weekend, seeming to improve from the first to second races, with the first race effort activating the skiers’ bodies,” Nipissing Nordic head coach Toivo Koivukoski said in a story posted to the school’s website. “Just coming off a rest week after some hard efforts that included both high intensity training and long slow distance sessions, many seemed sluggish in the first race, the 10km individual start skate. I like it when, reflecting on results, I see it on an athlete’s face that they want to do better the next day. That’s what the team set out to do today. The classic pursuit start put some clear targets out in front of them, and the skiers started charging and picking up momentum. These two back-to-back race intensity sessions should be a good training effect going into World Junior and U23 Championship Trials, which the team is very much looking forward to.”
Several local skiers also took part in the event.
In the skate technique race, Elizabeth Drake — Emily’s younger sister — skied for Laurentian in her first university event and finished fifth in the under-20 women’s division and was the 11th university skier. Drake, who also went to St. Mike’s, was the second scorer on Laurentian’s Nordic team.
St. Mike’s grad Lauren Denstedt placed 25th in the university women’s race for the University of Waterloo, while Sophia Slater — a St. Marys DCVI alumnae — placed third in the senior women’s division and was fourth in the university race.
Northwestern alum Jonathan Koot was ninth in the under-20 men’s race and 17th in the university division skiing for the University of Guelph.
In the classic technique race, Elizabeth Drake finished seventh in the under-20 women’s division and was 16th among university women. Denstedt finished 13th in the senior women’s division, Slater was fourth in the senior women’s event and seventh among university skiers, and Koot was 11th in the under-20 men’s division.