By Blake Paton – Special to the Voice
Haliburton skiers performed well and took home some hardware at the Friday Night Lights cross-country ski race held at Glebe Park on January 21.
The team sprint format was a hit amongst the skiers as over 120 school-aged skiers from around the region attended this unique event.
In the Novice Boys division, two Haliburton-based teams battled it out for supremacy. In the end the Haliburton Ski Club squad of Del Meyers, Preston Roberts, Will Stephenson and Zak Shantz prevailed over Red Hawk rivals Jacob Outram, Jordan Desroches, Ryan van Lieshout and Sam Longo.
A strong team from J.D. Hodgson Elementary showed two older, high-school aged teams that skiers can be small but mighty.
Brynn Meyers was in second place when she tagged team-mate Betty Paton who took the lead in the second leg. It was then up to Christine Bishop and Hannah Klose to hold the lead over the hard-charging competition composed of high-school aged skiers from around the region. In the end they held the lead and took home gold. HHSS skiers Lindsey Pogue and Jillian Mayhew were on the third-place squad.
The Junior Boys Division was dominated by the strong teams from Huntsville High School, with the team of Ben Forestell, Kyle Heyblom, Brady Irving, Dan Taylor taking top honours.
In Junior Girls, Christine Darlington and Kenzie Hill teamed up with two others and turned in a solid performance that was hampered by a minor injury to one of their team mates.
Joshua Wright teamed up with 3 skiers from Hunstville and anchored the squad to a 3rd place in the hotly-contested Senior Boys division. Greg Foster skied with a group from Trinity College school.
The first-placed Huntsville team also included the talented youngsters Brady Irving and Ben Forestell who were “skiing up” from junior.
The athletes were enthusiastic and positive about this inaugural edition of Friday Night Lights.
The camaraderie between schools was strong since many teamed up with rival schools to field teams, and it is a great way for skiers to prepare for their upcoming regional qualifiers as they search for a trip to the OFSAA finals.