Hugh Warkentin is going back to train on familiar terrain in his quest to be among the elite nordic skiers in Canada.
Warkentin, a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador nordic ski team, is moving west in July to begin training with the Telemark Racing Club in Kelowna, B.C.
He is set to graduate from Corner Brook Regional High this month and his plan is to be a full-time athlete who may entertain a part-time job depending on how hectic things get on the snow.
It won’t be a summer of some training mixed in with social time with his friends.
He was a member of the Telemark Racing Club when is family lived in Kelowna three years ago and he liked how the program helped him become a better nordic skier.
“It’s a pretty successful program, so I think I can do well there,” Warkentin said Monday after completing one of his final school exams.
He will be staying with a friend during his time in Kelowna and he has a number of goals he wants to chase, particularly a top-10 finish while competing on the Nor-Am circuit and a top-five finish at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.
“I think it’s obtainable if I train hard,” he said.
Being in an environment where he will hit the snow more often than he would at home, with the season starting in October out west, is something he feels will help him get where he wants to be.
More importantly, he spends a lot of his time training on his own when he’s in Corner Brook, but he has a strong contingent of skiers surrounding him in Kelowna, including a national team member in the mix, so he believes he will benefit from being pushed and motivated to hold his own with some dandy cross-country skiers.
“Just being with other fast people should be good,” he said.
Lots of training over the summer months is what awaits him. He doesn’t have the luxury of hanging out at the beach or hanging out with his buddies with so much weighing on how well he is prepared when he arrives in Kelowna.
“Races are won in the summer,” he said. “I’d like to see how far I can take it.”