T-Birds Make the Podium in back-to-back Weekends of Racing

Nico Petch

VANCOUVER – Last weekend, the UBC nordic ski team athletes travelled to Kelowna to participate in two days of racing as part of the BC Cup series. The team came home with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

Saturday’s race was a 1.2-kilometre classic sprint. Competitors started the morning with a time trial in order to seed the racers and determine who would advance to the knock out rounds.

Kirsten Bock (100 Mile House, BC) won her qualifier by just over a second with Solen Roth (Ottawa, ON) coming in fourth and Katrina Dutkiewicz (Cambridge, UK) finishing for seventh. Both Bock and Roth made it through to the A final where Bock was edged out at the line and ended up second while Roth came through for bronze.

The UBC men were in tough against all of the National Development Team athletes based out of the Callaghan Valley. Robert Ragotte (Brampton, ON) finished ninth (fifth within the junior category) in the time trial. Traditionally finding their success in distance racing, Nico Petch (Kamloops, BC) and Alistair Hardy Poirier (West Vancouver, BC) placed 17th and 18th respectively.

Both Hardy-Poirier and Petch were knocked out in the quarter final, but Ragotte advanced through to the semis. But Ragotte was not able to hold his qualifying position and slipped back to 11th place on the day after being relegated to the B final.

The next day, the women raced 7km freestyle and the men 10km freestyle. Bock found redemption in winning her race by a nail-biting 0.3 seconds and Solen Roth won bronze for the second straight day.

Afterwards, the team returned to Vancouver for the week before heading up to Whistler Saturday for the Coast Cup. The race of the day was 10km classic for the women and 13.2km classic for the men.

Bock continued her winning ways by capturing gold once again with Roth finishing in second. The men were not quite able to duplicate the women’s success with Ragotte finishing fifth, Petch in sixth and Hardy-Poirier in ninth.

The team will have a break from racing before returning in February for the Payak – a 50km race at Whistler Olympic Park.