Josh Wright slides and glides to OFSAA Nordic


By Terrance Gavan

The Glebe Park Nordic race course has seen better days.

But Hal High’s Nordic skiing phenom Josh Wright took on Haliburton’s challenging, steep and technically specific track on Tuesday (Feb 22) and laid down a remarkable time of 27.14 to qualify out of the COSSA finals for the provincial Nordics.

Ignoring some snow depleted sections, and early morning icy patches, Wright, a senior multi-sport athlete at Hal High, took on a talented Central Ontario field and stuck the landing.

Coach Sharon Dibblee said before the race that she expected Wright to qualify.

However, both Dibblee and Bruce Griffith – who was out working on the course very early on Tuesday – said that Wright would have to ski the race of his life to qualify in the tough and competitive field.

Josh finished 4th overall – first individual of three once the first place team
is removed from the lineup – and that was good enough to qualify for OFSAA.

Novice skiers Jillian Mayhew and Jacob Outram brought home gold medals. Mayhew is another one of those tireless Red Hawk muti-tasking athletes, seemingly intent on stretching personal envelopes.

Today Mayhew will guard the crease for the Red Hawk girls’ hockey team, who clinched a playoff spot in their first season of league play. And she’s also an accomplished figure skater, field hockey player, ad infinitum. Nice run by all the novice skiers on a rough and tumble track.

Outram went out early and hard in the boys novice event and never let up to capture his gold.

Lindsey Pogue won bronze in the novice girls event.

Christine Darlington placed fourth in the junior girls and McKenzie Hill was fifth.

“There was no first place team to remove from the standings, so the girls were not included in the top three individual skiers,” said Dibblee.

Greg Foster finished twelfth in the senior boys.

Ryan van Lieshout blew a tire in the woods, just past the first climb, re-injured a wonky knee and was forced to walk gingerly back to the racer’s hut.