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Celeste Noble off to Nordic Nationals

by Ben Clarke

For Celeste Noble, attending the national nordic skiing championship is not just an opportunity to compete but an opportunity to compete with the best.

The Grade 12 student at Lakefield District Secondary School (LDSS) left Thursday for Cornerbrook, Nfld. after qualifying for the National Alpine Skiing Championship.

After finishing 16th at the recent OFSSA Skiing Championship held at Blue Mountain, Noble decided she would try her hand at the national stage.

For the national championship any skier is welcome to participate but to keep the integrity of the event, participants are expected to be a specific percentage (80-85 per cent) behind the leader, to which Noble belongs.

Noble wont be alone in Cornerbrook, as coaches Jon Grimwood, Mike Nevilles and skiers David Laurie and Geoff Wayne, whom she skis with as a member of the Kawartha Nordic Ski Club are also attending.

We do have to pay for most of the trip but our club team Kawartha Nordic has been really supportive, as they have paid for our race fees and for a lot of the coaches fees, said Noble.

The Lakefield-area resident took up competitive skiing in Grade 9 and has been a member of Kawartha Nordic since Grade 10.

I would like to finish in the top two-thirds, said Noble of the national competition.

I have been looking at the confirmation list and theres a few girls who I have beaten before or they have beaten me before so we are really close.

The competition will see between 700 and 900 skiers taking to the slopes over a 10-day period. Noble will compete in the 5-kilometre classic, the 5-kilometre skate, the 10-kilometre skate and then the 7.5-kilometre classic on the last day.

I have been to Newfoundland before but it was in the summer, said Noble.

Im not entirely sure what it will be like. Jeff and I were looking at photos so its going to be fun.

Noble intends to use the national competition as a learning experience while taking advantage of training, as she intends to join the Guelph University skiing team, while pursuing a degree in Biomedicine.

I have a few friends who are on the team who were with Kawartha Nordic, said Noble.

There team is pretty competitive so it would be nice to continue to ski competitively. I could definitely see myself coaching one day.

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