Agassiz skiers compete at Manning Park

Two local cross country skiers battled it out in the 15 K event as part of the Cascade Cup in Manning Park.

Two local cross country skiers battled it out in the 15 K event as part of the Cascade Cup in Manning Park. Jeff Taylor and Laurens van Vliet competed in the classic technique event on Saturday, Feb. 14.

“With the recent warm weather, waxing for grip was a challenge,” said van Vliet, “with most racers using a sticky klister wax (a ski wax suitable for warmer conditions) for their kick.”

The course was well prepared by the grooming and track-setting staff at Manning, despite sparse snow cover on one of the trails. Taylor’s strong performance resulted in a fist place finish in one hour and 11 minutes, with van Vliet finishing 20 seconds later.

Earlier in the season, van Vliet had a third place podium finish at the Kelowna Apple Loppet in West Kelowna, and raced at the RKS Loppet in Salmon Arm, both 15 K events. Van Vliet continued training this season for the 2015 Canadian Masters National Cross Country Ski Championships (Feb. 8 -14) at Lac Le Jeune, south of Kamloops, hosted by the Overlander Ski Club. He finished an impressive fourth place finish in his age group in the 20 K classic technique race, and finished in 5th place in the 10 K race.

“Racing with the best skiers in Canada is exhilarating and makes for very strong competition. But in the end, comraderie and fun prevails at these events, which makes it so worth while.” he said.

Both Taylor and van Vliet have been training at Manning Park. They are grateful to the staff at the Nordic Centre for being so supportive in their training and providing for good grooming and track setting. Manning Park is enjoying good snow conditions this season, unlike other ski areas on the coast. This has brought many skiers, nordic and downhill skiers alike, to Manning Park Resort, which will be open for skiing till Easter (April 6).

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