A Black Jack skier has qualified for the World Cup.
Julien Locke, who is a member of the National Ski Team, placed first in the Frozen Thunder 2017 Sprint Qualifier Classic in Canmore on Wednesday, qualifying for the World Cup.
“I’m really excited to go to the World Cup. I’ve never started the season on the World Cup before, so it’s a big step forward for me and, you know, Scandinavia is where cross-country skiing came from, so I’m very much looking forward to experiencing the culture there and seeing how ingrained skiing is in the lives of the Scandinavians,” says Locke.
He says he mostly felt relieved when he found out he’d qualified.
“It’s the first step that I needed to make this winter to reach my larger goals,” he says.
Locke is headed to Sweden to race in the Swedish Cup on Saturday, Nov. 11 and then will head to Gaellivare, Sweden for Nov. 17 and then the World Cup starts in Ruka, Finland on Nov. 24.
From there it’s onto a second World Cup event in Lillehammer, Norway for the weekend of Dec. 1. and then the weekend of Dec. 8 will see him in Davos, Switzerland for a third World Cup event.
Locke hopes that success at all three events will lead him to the Olympics.
“There’s two ways to get there: one is to have good World Cup results and the other is to do well at the Olympic trials, but our main focus is to do well on the World Cup and qualify there,” he said.
Then it’s back to Rossland the following weekend for the Haywood NorAm/National Sprint Mini Tour event.
Locke had further success in Canmore on Wednesday, finishing third overall in the Frozen Thunder 2017 Kings Court, though he says the event was more about training than anything.
“On Wednesday, the main focus for everybody — for all the men — was the qualification round in the morning, because that’s what the World Cup selection was based off of, and then there were some heats afterward, but it was mostly just a training effort for everybody,” he explains.
Locke also participated in the Frozen Thunder 2017 Distance Free on Friday, finishing 12th for the senior men, but again it was more about training for him.
He continues to train with Black Jack coach Dave Woods, and though he’s on the National Ski Team now he wears his Black Jack Ski Club suit when racing in Canada and his National Ski Team suit when racing internationally.
“Which is great for me because the club has brought me up and I’m very proud to wear our suit,” says Locke.
And he wasn’t the only member of his club to succeed at Frozen Thunder.
Molly Miller placed second in the junior women’s Sprint Qualifier Classic with a time of 4:45.63 and third overall in the junior women’s Kings Court.
Remi Drolet placed fourth in the junior men’s Sprint Qualifier Classic with a time of 3:58.32 and fourth overall in the junior men’s Kings Court.