Something missing after Nationals for Locke boys

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsIt’s like coming up short in the Stanley Cup race for the Canucks, not winning the KIJHL Championship for the Leafs or the Nelson Bantams returning home without the B.C. Bantam Tier III Hockey crown.Anything less than achieving the pre-season goal is always a disappointment.That’s the way Julien Locke felt after competing at the 2011 Haywood Canadian Cross Country Ski Nationals last month in Canmore, Alta.Despite winning the 1100-meter sprint for the second year in a row and turning in some solid races, there was something bittersweet about the 2011 meet for the Nelson Nordic Ski Club turned Black Jack skier after he was held out of the overall medals, finishing fourth in the Junior Boy’s Division.“Overall I am not satisfied with Nationals,” Locke lamented following the national meet. “I was hoping for a lot more in the distance races and I was feeling very good in my preparation until one week before when I got a bad cold.”Locke, and brother Peter, had trained all summer, worked the training trails throughout the season and attended the necessary meets to get ready for Nationals.However, the ski Gods had something else planned for Locke come the middle of March. “My distance racing had been getting much stronger through out the season and I was excited to race at Nationals as all of the races were good ones for me,” explained the 17-year-old skier. “I raced hard but I guess (the cold left me) not in very good shape.”“It was satisfying to win the sprint for the second year in a row and I am happy with how I raced that day,” he added.However, winning the race didn’t quite happen according to Hoyle.There was a crash during the final stage of the race that forced Locke, despite putting on an incredible run at the end, to finish second.But after further review, the judges disqualified original winner Stefan Sander Green of Kimberley allowing Locke to grab the gold medal.The judging committed ruled Green had tripped Ezekiel Williams of Quebec on the final hill.The weeklong competition started off with the Skate Team Sprint Relay.Peter and Julien skied together, finishing fourth in the Junior Division.“I had good races this day and was happy with fourth place,” Peter Locke said. “Julien and I don’t do many team sprints so we were not great in the transition area but it is a really fun type of race.”“This is by far the best I have ever done at nationals so I was very happy,” added Peter Locke.The next race was the 10-kilometer Skate. Peter Locke managed to get the better of his brother, placing 10th overall.“I had a really good race this day. It was a really hilly, steep course, which suits me well,” he said.Not so well for Julien.“The 10km skate was downright terrible,” he said. “I started off a very conservative pace (Canmore is high altitude so you have to go out slower than usual) with the plan of picking it up as the race went on. “Right from the start my legs felt tired, but I was confident that they would feel better as the race went on. Unfortunately they never improved.”The same held true for the 7.5-km Classic.Peter finished ninth and Julien struggled again, taking 13th overall.In the final race, the 15-km Skate Mass Start, Julien took sixth while Peter finished 50th.“I had a decent 15-km skate,” Julien said. “I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent and my shape still wasn’t perfect but I raced well tactically and overall, it went quite well.”“I was hoping for more than sixth and I think I could have been higher up but considering my first two distance races this week, I am getting fast again.” “In the long skate race I did not race very well,” Peter confessed. “I started out well and was in the lead group until we got to the first major climb. Usually climbing is my strong point so I planned to move up to the front of the pack and pick up the pace. The Locke boys still have one more competition this past week in Sun Valley, Idaho — US Super Tour Final.“We will be racing in the Open category so the competition will be really, really tough.” [email protected]last_img

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