|Canadian Men 17th in World Juniors Relay|
Rovaniemi, FIN - Canadaís cross-country menís relay team struggled to keep up with the worldís best, finishing in 17th place at the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Rovaniemi, Finland on Saturday.
The Canadian quartet, led by Calgaryís Brent McMurtry finished the 4 x 10 kilometre relay race nine minutes back of the leading country for a combined time of one hour 45 minutes 40.3 seconds.
"It was a tough field and a tight race, but everyone skied quite hard and did their best," said 18-year-old McMurtry, who led the Canadian charge out of the mass start and into the first 10 kilometres of the technically challenging course.
Joining McMurtry was 16-year-old Alex Harvey of St. Fereol des Neiges, Que., the son of legendary Canadian cross-country skier Pierre Harvey, who skied the second leg of the relay race in his rookie stint at the junior world championships. Following Harvey was Chris Butler, of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Chris Werrell of Burns Lake, B.C., who have both been making significant strides throughout each race on the weeklong campaign.
"I donít think you can be too excited with where we finished today, but it shows you how strong the lead is and gives us a place to work from," said McMurtry. "Three of our four members who raced are still young enough to return to the junior world championships, so we will definitely build on this experience to improve for next year."
Russia claimed the gold medal in the last cross-country race at the junior world championships, ending the day with a combined time of 1:36:38.2. Norway made a familiar trip to the podium, sliding into second place for the silver medal with a time of 1:38:06.4, while France rounded out third for the bronze medal at 1:39:04.7.
"Overall we had five top-30 results from our team this week, so Iím pretty pleased with how things went as a whole," said Alain Parent, Canadian junior team coach. "What we accomplished here this week will definitely have a tremendous impact on future junior world championships."
Complete results are available at www.jwsc2005.net.
World Junior Championships Men's 4x10km Relay - Rovaniemi, Finland
1. Russia, 1:36:38.2
2. Norway, 1:38:06.4
3. France, 1:39:04.7
4. Japan, 1:39:22.6
5. Sweden, 1:39:28.9
17. Brent McMurtry, Calgary, Alex Harvey, St. Fereol des Neiges, Que., Chris Butler, Thunder Bay, Ont., Chris Werrell, Burns Lake. B.C. 1:45:40.3
Source: Cross Country Canada
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