Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

February 2, 2014

O'Hearns win 20K races at White Pine Stampede

BELLAIRE — Two titles, one household.

Traverse City’s John and Erica O’Hearn swept the men’s and women’s 20K cross country ski races Saturday in the 38th annual White Pine Stampede.

John O’Hearn finished in 1:00:08, about two minutes ahead of Williamsburg’s Tim Jenema (1:02:02).

O’Hearn’s wife, Erica, came in at 1:04:32. Homer’s Rebecca Davis was second (1:10:52).

The point-to-point races started at Mancelona High School and ended at Shanty Creek Resort.

“The course was in good shape,” John O’Hearn said. “It was awesome. Even the falling snow didn’t slow it down.”

O’Hearn took charge of the race after 5K.

“We were all going easy, about five or six of us through 5K,” he said. “My skis felt good so I decided to pick it up and see if I could put a little gap in there and then relax. I picked it up for three or four minutes, got a good gap, then just tried to stay strong but not overdo it.

“It was a lot of fun. I don’t lead a lot of races so I have to work on pacing myself. I’m still getting used to that. But I felt good, felt strong, felt like I had a lot left in the tank.”

Jenema, after a tough start, edged Traverse City’s Brian Beauchamp for second. Beauchamp was timed in 1:02:03.

“I stuck my pole between my skis right at the start and crashed,” Jenema said. “It took me about 3K to catch (the pack). They were rolling really smooth.

“John then made his move at about 5K, got about 10 seconds on us. Three or four of us skied together for quite awhile trying to catch him, but he kept putting 5 to 10 seconds on us all the time. He was stretching it out. He skied a strong race.”

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