The Nechako Nordics went home victorious with multiple silver and bronze medals this weekend.
The Teck Northern Cup #4 race took place on Sunday, Jan. 23 at Burns Lake.
Ten skiers represented the Nechako Nordics in the race, between the ages of 10 to 18.
Samara Dhillon, James Reed and Breanna McCleary placed second in their respective age categories, while Jesse Wu, Kavita Dhillon and Anya Dhillon placed third in their own age brackets.
The team also participated in a race on Jan. 2 in Smithers which brought in five gold medals.
Races for cross country skiing occur in the months of January, February and March. This leaves ample time in the year for the Nordics to train, which typically begins with dry land training in July until December.
The team trains three times a week, on Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.
“Early in the season, we focus a lot on technique and then we do some interval training to get the athletes’ heart rates elevated and get them into endurance training,” said Zoë Dhillon, coach for the Nechako Nordics ski race team.
When it came around to training in the snow trails, a few athletes visited neighbouring trails in Prince George and Smithers in December until the Nechako ones were ready.
“It’s a huge success for us to have eight racers travelling to races. In the past we’ve only had two or three,” Dhillon said.
The coach hopes for the Nordics’ success to continue in the remainder of the races. She would like to be able to take a couple skiers into the province-wide tournament, the Track Attack Championships, which is set for February 26-27 in Kelowna.
The Nechako Nordics Ski Club has gained a lot of participation in the last year, even for those who wish to ski recreationally.
“A lot of winter sports were adversely affected like speed skating, ice hockey and figure skating. Those types of sports were really heavily impacted by COVID because they’re indoor sports,” said Richard Burkholder, co-coordinator of the Nechako Nordics Ski Club.
The ski club has a total of 73 skiers, which is the highest recorded in the 35 years of operation.
“Our objective as a club is to encourage Nordic skiing and getting as many people trying it and seeing if they like it as possible and we’re meeting our objective this year,” Burkholder said.
The trails available in the community span 15 km. There are also 2 km of lit trails for night skiing, which many have become fond of, Burkholder said.