Red Deer’s Owen Pimm was second in the junior boys freestyle mass start in Vernon, B.C. last weekend and is hoping his results at the 2018 Haywood NorAm/US Super Tour earned him a spot on the Team Alberta Cross Country skiing Canada Winter Games team. (Contributed photo)

Red Deer’s Owen Pimm continues to rise on cross-country skiing circuit

Owen Pimm is waiting anxiously to find out his 2019 Canada Winter Games fate.

The Team Alberta cross-country skiing group for the games will be picked by Dec. 21, after the points are tallied and all the selection criteria are met.

Through a pair of Canada Cup races in Canmore to start the year in late November, the Red Deer native was 15th in points.

He did himself plenty of favours last weekend in Vernon, B.C., at the 2018 Haywood NorAm/US Super Tour, which was also the final stage of qualifying for the games.

In the junior men’s 1200m sprint qualification race, the 16-year-old finished 34th, but it was the mass start where he really shined.

Pimm was second in the junior boys freestyle mass start with a time of 13 minutes and eight seconds and was really happy with how performed.

“I was seeded in the second row, so I was a little further back. Being able to get to the front early on left me in a good position to control the pace of the race,” Pimm said.

“Just being able to hang on with the fast guys at the front, I definitely felt strong.”

In the 15-kilometre junior men’s classic race on the final day of competition, he finished 24th in a time of 49 minutes and 18.5 seconds.

“I enjoy the longer races, just being able to go hard most of the time and I find it a little more tactical than a sprint,” he said.

This weekend, Pimm will be lining up against some top competitors his age at the 2018 Haywood NorAm World Junior/U23 Trials in Canmore.

“It gives you a goal to work towards, you see how much more of another level there is to get to. To be able to visualize that and see it in person, it gives you a way to base your training,” he said.

He’ll race in a classic sprint and freestyle race this weekend, as well as a huge 30 km seven-lap race at the Canmore Nordic Centre, a distance he’s never done before.

“I’m very familiar with the course, so being able to use that to my advantage and there’s a 30km classic race, a super long one,” he said.

“Longest I’ve ever done in a race of this level of competition. Looking forward to seeing how that goes.”

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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