SPOKANE — Led by first place finishes from Sandpoint residents Vicki Longhini, Annaby Kanning and Rebecca Dussault, the Sandpoint Nordic Club posted a strong showing on Sunday at the Langlauf Classic Ski Race at the Mt. Spokane Nordic Center.
The Sandpoint Nordic Club sent eight participants to the annual 10K race, now in its 37th year, as more than 200 participants raced on a tough and hilly course.
Former Olympian and new Sandpoint resident Rebecca Dussault, 37, led the way by finishing first among the women and fourth overall in a time of 31:30. Dussault has been helping teach the Sandpoint Youth Ski League, sharing a wealth of knowledge from years of competing at the highest levels of Nordic racing.
Dussault is a 2006 Winter Olympian, eight-time U.S. Nationals cross-country skiing champion, seven-time Junior Nationals cross-country skiing champ and a two-time women’s champ in the American Birkebeiner in Wisconsin, and also has won a pair of World Winter Triathlon championships.
Kanning, 13, won her age group and was the second overall female finisher, while Longhini finished 14th overall and first in her division to round out the gold medal winners.
Tabor Dussault, 15, was second in his age group and third overall finishing just ahead of his mom, while Emerson Kanning, 17, was third in her age group and 15th overall among the women.
Sandpoint Nordic Club coaches Jeannie Nelson (2nd in age group), Jared France (5th in age group) and Ross Longhini (6th in age group) show that they can practice what they preach with strong showings as well, as the club continues to flourish.
“Bottom line is lots of metal in the form of medals came home to Sandpoint,” said Vicki Longhini, one of the driving forces behind the sport’s rise in popularity locally. “And Rebecca, the overall women’s winner, just had a baby seven months ago.”