To the finish

From left, Leo Grandbois, Julien Locke, Sasha Masson, Erikson Moore and Ry Prior race during Sunday’s men’s 1.3 km sprint final at Lappe Ski Centre.

Local skiers from Lappe Nordic, Big Thunder Nordic, Lakehead University and the National Team Development Centre (NTDC) are having some success in the early days of the 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals at Lappe Ski Centre, including a medal in Monday’s competition.

More than 540 skiers are in Thunder Bay for the week-long national championships, which includes titles for the Canadian College and University Nordic Championships (CCUNC) and Para Nordic Championships.


Saturday’s best event for Thunder Bay skiers was the Open Men’s 10 km where Max Hollmann from Big Thunder Nordic placed third with a time of 23:42. National Team Development Centre Thunder Bay (NTDC) had top-10 skiers with Erikson Moore in fourth (second among CCUNC racers) and Julian Smith in seventh. Big Thunder top-20 finishers were Nicholas Randall (11th), Toby Quinn (14th), Conor McGovern (15th) and Erik Schlyter (17th).

Lappe Nordic’s Cedric Martel (fifth) and Edgar Sarrazin (10th) were strong in the U18 boys 7.5 km race, which also saw Big Thunder Nordic’s Willem van Duyn finish 15th. In the U16 boys 7.5 km race, Makkai Jones (12th) from Lappe Nordic was the top local finisher.

Min Dobson from Lappe Nordic finished seventh in the U16 girls 7.5 km, with Big Thunder’s Mackenzie Thompson coming in 16th.

In the Open Women’s 10 km, Hannah Shields from Lappe Nordic placed seventh and teammate Sarah Peters placed 14th.

In the U20 women’s 10 km, Big Thunder’s Sarah Cullinan finished in fifth while Lappe’s Hannah Zavitz was 10th.

Saturday’s winners were Yves Bourque from Mauriski, Que. (Para Nordic Sit men’s 5km), Logan Cox of Kimberley Nordic, B.C. (Para Nordic Standing men’s 7.5 km), Adam Heale of Black Jack Nordic, B.C. (U18 boys 7.5 km), Gavin Chatterton of Strathcona Nordic, B.C. (U16 boys 7.5 km), Alison Mackie from Edmonton Nordic, Alta. (U18 girls 7.5 km), Emelie Kvick from the Hollyburn Ski Club, B.C. (U16 girls 7.5 km), Leo Grandbois from Orford, Que. (Open Men’s 10 km), Amelia Wells from Strathcona Nordic, B.C. (Open Women’s 10 km), Jeremy Lantz from Monteriski, Que. (U20 men’s 10 km), and Anna Stewart from Nakkertok Nordic, Ont. (U20 women’s 10 km).


On Sunday, Erikson Moore (NTDC, Lakehead University) had the best finish among locals, coming in fourth in the Open Men’s 1.3 km sprint. Big Thunder teammates Erik Schlyter (Lakehead) and Nicholas Randall (NTDC) grabbed 6th and 10th respectively. NTDC skier Julian Smith, crossing the finish on one ski after a binding broke, was still able to finish in 12th place. Max Mahaffy (NTDC) was 17th and Tobias Quinn (Big Thunder) was 20th.

Hannah Shields (Lappe) finished 18th in the Women’s Open 1.3 km sprint.

Patrick Wiss (Lakehead) came sixth in the U20 Men’s 1.3 km sprint while Luke Pollex (Big Thunder/Lakehead) finished 10th.

Sunday’s winners were Yves Bourque of Mauriski, Que. (Para Nordic Sit Men’s 1.1 km sprint), Leo Grandbois from Orford, Que. (Open Men’s 1.3 km sprint), Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt from Fondeurs-Laurentides, Que. (Women’s Open 1.3 km sprint), Remi Boilard of Skibec, Que. (U20 Men’s 1.3 km sprint), and Maude Molgat from the Whitehorse Ski Club, YT (U20 Women’s 1.3 km sprint).


Monday races were free technique (skate) sprint for U16, U18 and Para Nordic standing athletes. Athletes raced the sprint qualifier in the morning with the top 30 in each category moving onto the heats in the afternoon. The older skiers had a break after the qualifiers and before the heats. During that time, exhibition sprint races were held for U12 and U14 skiers.

With strong performances through all the heats, local athlete Mikkai Jones (Lappe) grabbed the bronze medal in the U16 boys 1.0 km sprint. Lappe teammate Willem Abbink also made the semifinal heats and finished 11th.

In the U18 boys 1 km sprint, Lappe teammates Edgar Sarrazin and Cedric Martel made it to the quarter-final heats and finished in 15th and 16th. Willem van Duyn (Big Thunder) also made it to the quarter-final heats and finished 19th in a field.

In the U18 girls 1.0 km, Maaritta Puiras (Lappe) made it to the quarter-final heats and finished 25th.

Four local skiers qualified for the quarter final heats in the U16 girls 1.0 km from a field of 66 athletes. They were Min Dobson (Lappe) in 15th, Mackenzie Thompson (Big Thunder) in 16th, Tzipi Levkoe-Stephens (Lappe) in 20th, and Sarah Kiiskila (Big Thunder) in 26th.

Monday’s winners were Raleigh Tarte from Kimberley Nordic, B.C. (U18 boys 1 km sprint), Joel Thibault from Fondeurs-Laurentides, Que. (U16 boys 1.0 km sprint), Tory Audet from Club Chelsea Nordiq, Que. (U18 girls 1.0 km), and Aramintha Bradford from Whitehorse Ski Club, YT (U16 girls 1.0 km).

The 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals are hosted by the Lakehead Superior Nordic Association (LSNA) — a race-hosting partnership between Lappe Nordic Ski Club and Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club. Visit for athlete start times and live results. For a link to the livestream of the races and the complete race schedule, visit

(Information provided by Stephanie Barnes, Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals)

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