|Farley, Betcherman Win at Nationals|
Although the 2002 Nationals had trouble getting started, they ended with some of the most exciting and difficult racing of the week. In the women's event, it was Tasha Betcherman who claimed her second national title of the week by winning the 15km mass-start skate race. Betcherman was bested only by American skier Sarah Conrad, who is not eligible for a Canadian title. Tara Whitten fought her way to win silver, which will go well with her silver from the classic race and her national title from the sprint races. Rhonda Sandau also claimed her second bronze medal of the week with a third place finish. Sarah Peters and Sarah Daitch finished 4th and 5th.
In the men's 30km mass-start race, Donald Farley was again victorious after a charging attack on the second of four 7.5km laps took him clear of the field. A chase group of five formed behind him but could never get closer than 20 seconds. Dan Roycroft eventually emerged from that group to win the silver medal after George Grey fell on the final downhill. Grey held on for third, completing his collection of every colour medal this week. Phil Villeneuve finished an eventual 4th place after losing contact with the chase group on the last lap, and Karl Saidla made a late race charge for 5th.
The Junior women's race was again dominated by Dasha Gaiazov, who would have finished in the silver medal position if she was a senior. Gaiazov came in ahead of Madeleine Williams who claimed the silver medal and Jacqui Benson won the bronze. Shayla Swanson and Kim McMurtry rounded out the top five.
The Junior men were also mixing it up with the seniors. Devon Kershaw, who would have been 10th in senior, picked up his second gold of the week for his efforts, followed closely by national sprint champion Sean Crooks. Andrew Leoni won the bronze medal. Jeff Seguin and Stephen Lowry were 4th and 5th.
Complete results will be posted on the Canmore Nordic Ski Club site as soon as they are available.
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