Locke received his first place prize from Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Locke wins sprint in dramatic finish at Black Jack Ski event

“It’s all about getting the toe over the line first.”

It was a dramatic finish during the senior men’s Stage 2 Sprint at the Black Jack Ski Area on Saturday.

Black Jack’s Julien Locke was neck-in-neck with Evan Palmer-Charrette from Lappe Nordic and did what he had to do, stretching out his right leg to get his toe over the finish line first.

But the awkward move sent him sprawling and there was a small pileup behind the finish line after another skier ran into him.

“It’s all about getting the toe over the line first, so sometimes you have to put your weight a little bit back and slide backwards. You try to stay on your feet, but it doesn’t always happen,” said Locke, after being presented with his first place prize by Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore.

The event was part of the Haywood NorAm Mini Tour that took place out at Black Jack on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Locke also placed 13th in the open men and junior boy Stage 1 Interval Start Classic on Friday and tenth in the open men Stage 3 Pursuit Free race on Sunday.

The National Ski Team cross-country skier said he enjoyed racing at Black Jack over the weekend.

“It’s really fun to race at home. We don’t race at Black Jack all that often so to have the whole hometown crowd out there cheering for me is fantastic,” he said.

“It’s so great to have the club put on an event like this and bring the top skiers in North America here, and give us a chance to give back to the hometown … to perform in front of them,” he added.

Locke spent the last month racing in the world cup.

“I started in Sweden, then we were in Finland and then Norway and then Davos, Switzerland,” he said. “It was a great experience. The results weren’t quite what I wanted to have, but I was racing really well and building throughout. The last weekend in Davos was my best result of the month and I definitely plan to build on that later in the season.”

Olympic trials start Jan. 6 in Mont Ste-Anne, Quebec, and “now we focus fully on preparing well for those,” said Locke.

Other Black Jack skiers also finished strong in the Haywood NorAm Mini Tour over the weekend.

Redek Krampl finished third in the midget boy Stage 1 Interval Start Classic and Abby McLean finished third in the midget girl Stage 1 Interval Start Classic.

Johann Taylor-Gregg placed fifth and Adam Heale placed sixth in the midget boy Day 3 Mass Start Free race on Sunday. Maya Maturo placed fifth and Abby McLean placed sixth in the midget girls category of the same event, and Sophie Edney placed sixth in the junior girls category of the same event.

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Black Jack skier Julien Locke did what he had to, to get his toe over the line first in the senior men’s Stage 2 Sprint at the 2017 Haywood NorAm Mini Tour on Saturday. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Locke took the centre of the podium after a dramatic first place win. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

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