Ravens claim both OUA Nordic Skiing Championship banners

Ravens claim both OUA Nordic Skiing Championship banners

MIDLAND, Ont. - In 2016, the Carleton Ravens women's Nordic Ski team ended Lakehead's eleven-year streak, claiming an unexpected OUA championship banner. A year later, the Ravens women proved they are here to stay at the top of the podium – and this season, they brought the men's team up there with them.

Carleton's women dominated the weekend, while the men's squad edged out the defending champion Lakehead Thunderwolves, as the Ravens completed a sweep of the OUA Nordic Skiing Championships on February 24-26 at the Midland Ski Club in Midland, Ontario.

The Thunderwolves captured silver medals on both the men's and women's side, as Lakehead's squads earned a pair of top-two finishes for the second straight season. The Nipissing Lakers claimed the team bronze medal on the men's side, while the Guelph Gryphons earned the bronze medal in the women's competition.

The Ravens used their tremendous team depth to pace themselves to a championship sweep, despite some inspired individual performances by a pair of Thunderwolves superstars. Lakehead's Gavin Shields swept gold in both the 10km classic mass statrt and relay disciplines, while his Wolves teammate Jennifer Jackson completed the gold trifecta with a perfect individual and relay weekend on the women's side.

But the Ravens contingent was a force up and down their lineup. Carleton's Zoe Williams claimed silver behind Jackson in all three disciplines, while Ravens Megan Evans, Emily Jones, and Isabelle Maclean each enjoyed top-10 finishes in all three events – the 5k freestyle interval start, the 3x3km team relay, and the 10k classic mass start. When the snow settled and the races were over, the Ravens had cruised to a team title by a healthy margin.

On the men's side, Shields' dominant performance wasn't quite enough for Lakehead to edge out the Ravens. Aidan Kirkham led Carleton with three medals for the weekend (one silver, two bronze), while Carrington Pomeroy, Brendan Howard, Chris Weller, and Colin Ward each finished in the top 12 in all three races.

The Ravens' depth was so impressive that they actually claimed two medals on both the men's and women's side in the 3x3km freestyle relay – the Carleton men's team of Weller, Pomeroy, and Patrick Van Walraven claimed relay silver, while teammates Ward, Howard, and Kirkham won the bronze medal. On the women's side, Lakehead's relay gold medal was overshadowed by a silver from Carleton's Evans, Jones, and Williams, while Ravens MacLean, Maggie McClure, and Alyssa Stowe won bronze.

Heading into the championship's final races, the Ravens had all but sewn up their second straight women's crown. But the men's standings were much more tight, with the Ravens leading the Thunderwolves by just a single point.

Despite Thompsons' individual title, Carleton got some massive finishes further down the results list – Kirkham edged out Nipissing's Jordan Cascagnette for third, Pomeroy finished one spot ahead teammate Chris Weller for 6th, and Ward eked out an 8th place finish over Noah Taylor. Those three results, coupled with Ravens finishing 11th through 13th, was enough to secure Carleton's overall team championship.

Results, all-stars, and award winners
Women's 5km freestyle – interval start
Friday, Feb. 24
Gold - Jennifer Jackson (Lakehead) - 13:52.1      
Silver - Zoë Williams (Carleton) - 14:59.0
Bronze - Shelby Dickey (Nipissing) - 15:19.8 

Men's 10km freestyle – interval start
Friday, Feb. 24
Gold – Gavin Shields (Lakehead) - 26:00.8           
Silver – Noah Thompson (Lakehead) – 26:41.5
Bronze – Aidan Kirkham (Carleton) - 27:09.3 

Women's team 3x3km relay
Saturday, Feb. 25
Gold - Lakehead (Mihell, Hudson, Jackson) - 33:18.4       
Silver – Carleton (Evans, Jones, Williams) - 34:02.8
Bronze - Carleton (Maclean, Stowe, McClure) - 35:02.5
 
Men's team 3x3km relay
Saturday, Feb. 25
Gold - Lakehead (Way-Nee, Thompson, Shields) - 26:58.1           
Silver – Carleton (Weller, Van Walraven, Pomeroy) - 27:30.2
Bronze - Carleton (Ward, Howard, Kirkham) - 27:55.6
 
Women's 10km classic – mass start
Sunday, Feb. 26
Gold - Jennifer Jackson (Lakehead)        
Silver - Zoë Williams (Carleton)
Bronze – Megan Evans (Carleton) 

Men's 15km classic – mass start
Sunday, Feb. 26
Gold - Noah Thompson (Lakehead)
Silver- Aidan Kirkham (Carleton) 
Bronze - Jordan Cascagnette (Nipissing)
 
Women's final team results
Gold – Carleton Ravens
Silver – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Bronze – Guelph Gryphons
4. Laurentian Voyageurs
5. Queen's Gaels
6. Nipissing Lakers
7. Toronto Varsity Blues
8. Waterloo Warriors 

Men's final team results
Gold – Carleton Ravens
Silver – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Bronze – Nipissing Lakers
4. Laurentian Voyageurs
5. Queen's Gaels
6. Guelph Gryphons
7. Waterloo Warriors
8. Toronto Varsity Blues
 
OUA Coach of the year
Colin Rhodes - Waterloo 

OUA Women's Nordic Skiing All-stars
Jennifer Jackson – Lakehead
Zoe Williams – Carleton
Megan Evans – Carleton
Maggie McClure – Carleton
Makaila Hudson – Lakehead
Emily Jones – Carleton
Erika Mihell – Lakehead
Isabelle Maclean – Carleton
Shelby Dickey – Nipissing
Alyssa Stowe – Carleton

OUA Men's Nordic Skiing All-stars
Noah Thompson – Lakehead
Gavin Shields – Lakehead
Aidan Kirkham – Carleton
Jordan Cascagnette – Nipissing
Carrington Pomeroy – Carleton
Kayden Sim – Nipissing
Chris Weller – Carleton
Colin Ward – Carleton
Brendon Howard – Carleton
Patrick Van Walraven – Carleton