It was a perfect day for the Saskatchewan Winter Games athletes competing in cross-country skiing Friday.
A total of 64 male and female athletes took part in the event at Blue Mountain Adventure Park near North Battleford.
Dan Brisbin, provincial technical liaison for cross-country skiing and Para-Nordic skiing with Cross Country Saskatchewan, said it was an ideal time for skiing.
"The course was in top-notch shape," he said. "The weather was excellent. I think we were minus 15 (degrees) when we started - nice and sunny, not much wind. So it was a great day for skiing."
The juniors (ages 10 to 12) skied 250 metres, and the seniors (ages 13 to 15) covered 500 metres, in the course.
Brisbin said the short course and high energy sprint competitions are a thrill both for the young athletes participating, as well as the spectators viewing the action from the sidelines.
"It's a lot of excitement," he said. "You have six skiers on the course at the same time. It's a fun format to watch."
Brisbin added the course can be extra challenging for the Para-Nordic sit skiers who participated.
"It's extremely difficult," he said. "The snow is what we call cold snow. On a cold day, your glide is not great. It's more like sand-paper."
He said since the Para-Nordic skiers have to rely only on the strength of their upper bodies and arms to propel them forward, and making quick progress on the challenging terrain is not an easy task for these dedicated athletes.
"It's quite a physical accomplishment to ski that course on a cold day like that," Brisbin added.
Here are the results from Friday afternoon's competitions in all categories:
In the Jr. Male Sprint category, Timothy Ratt of Team North picked up the gold; Graham Farthing of Team Saskatoon garnered silver; while Tomas Patterson of Team Regina won bronze.
For Jr. Female Sprint, Jossie Crump garnered gold, Angelina Beveridge-Warick silver, and Heidi Wall received bronze. All are from Team Saskatoon.
In the Sr. Male Sprint category, Alex Wilson of Team Lakeland won gold, Fergus English of Team Saskatoon collected the silver medal, and Zachary Halland of Team North picked up bronze.
For the Sr. Female Sprint category: Jessica Gill of Team Lakeland won a gold medal, Farren Shirtliffe of Team Saskatoon received silver, and Romy Schafer of Rivers West picked up a bronze.
Team Para-Nordic sit skiers Krystal Shewchuk won a gold medal for the Para-Nordic Senior Girls Sprint category, while Cherish Nontell was honoured with a gold medal for the Para-Nordic Junior Girls Sprint in the competitions.
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