Six Muskie skiers qualify for OFSAA

Jamie Mountain

Look out Sudbury, the Muskies are coming!
Six members of the Muskie Nordic ski team qualified for OFSAA on Monday at the NWOSSAA finals in Kenora.
Of those, four qualified in the junior girls’ division, with Tori Toriseva finishing first with a time of 16 minutes even.
Jaida Norris nabbed third place (17:23), followed by Kayli Machura in fourth (18:26), and Angie Redford in fifth (19:42).
The rest of the Muskie crew in that division included Alacea Yerxa (eighth) and Joanna Empey (11th).
William Richards was the lone Muskie skier to qualify in the junior boys’ division, finishing in eighth place overall (16:21).
Stephen Dueck was the other Muskie in that division, finishing in 11th spot.
Joe Dueck, meanwhile, managed to qualify in the senior boys’ division by finishing eighth (22:17) but Muskie coach Rebecca Himanen noted he would not be attending OFSAA.
The rest of the Muskie contingent in that division included Aidan DeGagne (11th), followed by Conal Jarvis.
Corbin Grynol did not finish the race.
Jessica Empey was the lone Muskie competitor in the senior girls’ division, finishing last.
What will be some of the keys for the Muskie skiers to do well at OFSAA?
“They are going to have to keep pushing themselves,” Himanen stressed.
“They are young as skiers and there is still much to learn.”
“We are continuing to work on being aggressive both up and downhill, and that will be particularly important in Sudbury, where they will see some pretty big hills,” she added.
Muskie Emma Toriseva topped the Grade 7-8 girls’ division on Monday in Kenora, clocking in at 16:18.
Other Muskie finishers included Hannah Anderson (14th), followed by Jenna Bailey and Haleigh DeGagne.
There were no Muskie skiers in the Grade 7-8 boys’ division.
Himanen has been pleased with the team’s overall performance so far this season.
“I have been so impressed with them and how they haven’t settled–every skier just kept trying and keeps trying to improve,” she lauded.
“And they did it while generating a great team spirit that motivates others around them.
“And to take four of the top five spots in junior girls against some kids who grew up skiing is a huge accomplishment,” Himanen enthused.
OFSAA will take place Feb. 22-23 in Sudbury.