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March 20, 2023 – Thunder Bay, ON – Lakehead University Thunderwolves
The Lakehead Thunderwolves Nordic Ski team wrapped up a thrilling week at the 2023 Nordic Canada Ski Nationals by capturing the Canadian College & University Nordic Championships (CCUNC) Men’s Team Title as National Champions. The week-long event took place from March 10th to March 16th at the Lappe Ski Centre in Thunder Bay and featured over 600 athletes competing across several categories. Lakehead’s team was favoured in the CCUNC category heading into the competition following their OUA Championship win in Huntsville at the end of February.
The Thunderwolves were able to pick up a number of podium finishes throughout the week, including 1-2 finishes in both the CCUNC Men’s Team Sprint and the CCUNC Men’s 30km Mass Start. Erikson Moore had an outstanding week, leading the way for the Wolves with three gold medals and a silver medal across the four events he competed in.
The competition began on Saturday with the 10km Interval Start Free Technique race. Lakehead picked up three top 10 finishes on the men’s side of this event. Erikson Moore finished 2nd with a time of 24:00.8. Teammates Conor McGovern and Erik Schlyter finished 8th (26:01.4) and 10th (26:05.9), respectively.
On Sunday, the teams were competing in the CCUNC 1.3km race. Moore crossed the line first to win the category with a time of 2:49.66, 0.8 seconds ahead of the second-place skier from Laval. This would mark his first of the three gold medals. Schlyter finished in 3rd for Lakehead with a time of 2:52.61.
Conor McGovern and Erikson Moore led the way from start to finish during Tuesday’s CCUNC Men’s Team Sprint. The pair picked up the gold medal with a time of 23:20.5, finishing more than a full minute ahead of the rest of the field. Lakehead was able to complete the 1-2 finish when the team of Alexander Randall and Erik Schlyter crossed the line with a time of 24:26.6.
All four of the Lakehead Men’s teams picked up top 10 finishes in the Team Sprint as the team of Patrick Wiss and Noah Connell skied their way to a 7th place finish with a time of 26:16.3. Benjamin Osorio and Luke Pollex managed to put together a time of 26:37.1, good for 8th overall.
The CCUNC competition wrapped up with the 30km Mass Start Classic race on Friday. Lakehead came into the last day of competitions leading the CCUNC Men’s Team National Championship and cemented their win with another 1-2 finish. It was once again Moore who picked up the gold medal with a time of 1:34:51.7. McGovern wasn’t far behind, crossing the line in 1:35:45.6 to win the silver medal. Osorio and Randall would finish in 8th and 12th respectively.
On the women’s side, Lakehead skiers Alex Scheifele and Sarah Lutes were able to pick up a 10th-place finish in the Team Sprint with a time of 33:54.0. The pair fought hard but couldn’t keep pace with the race leaders from the University of Calgary. Lutes was able to pick up an 11th place finish in the 30km Mass Start Classic race, while Scheifele finished in 13th.
Head Coach Adam Kates was thrilled with the results from the week, stating how he is “very proud of all of our athletes and support staff for a great season and it’s amazing to finish it off with a national championship banner on home turf. Our team skied so well all year and really came together as a group when it mattered most and supported each other to thrive at the biggest moments.”
The team felt the support from the community as spectators made their way to the venue throughout the week. Kates continued on to say “the support we have from everyone in the community and especially the Athletics department at Lakehead is what makes it possible for these results to happen. Looking forward to many more years of success ahead.”
Congratulations to the Lakehead Varsity Ski Team on an incredible accomplishment!