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CLARENVILLE - As the first rays of sun hit Clarenville, local resident Nancy Robbins was hitting the pavement.
Cameron Salomon de Friedberg and Amanda Daniels are two eighth grade students from Lab West with a passion for skiing.
You might find it hard to believe that two young skiers from the Menihek Nordic ski club in Labrador City already have a decent amount of ski experience underneath their ski boots.
Cameron Salomon de Friedberg and Amanda Daniels have already been skiing for about eight years. That, despite the fact they are Grade 8 students at Menihek High school in Labrador City.
Both started at a young age and enjoyed the recreation and social aspects of being part of the club.
"I was part of the bunny program and then went on to jackrabbits, I liked it," says Amanda.
Cameron admits he loves the wilderness aspect of gliding through the beautiful trails in the area.
However, this year both skiers got a little more serious.
Coach and trainer Rhonda Lawrence says the skiers show great potential so this year they were introduced to training to be more competitive.
"They had to learn to train for distance, and then learn to do sprints; intervals, speed, everything you need to practice to be competitive," she says, "and they did with dedication."
"I had to change some things," said Cameron. "Being more careful of the food you eat, being more dedicated to training, giving up more of your free time to concentrate on skiing."
"It means more time on the trails, at least three time a week," says Amanda, but the improvement is obvious.
Amanda says three years ago it took her one hour and twenty minutes to ski the 10k Loppet, this year it was 41 minutes.
For both the hard work and dedication paid off as they were qualified to attend this year’s provincial cross country championships held recently in St. Anthony .
"The experience was amazing," says Cameron." I met old friends and made new ones and learned it takes a lot to reach the provincial level of skiing."
"It was such a great experience, and so good to see the cooperation amongst skiers,” she said.
Both agree this experience has been the spark that has lit a flame to make it to the point where they can make a spot on the provincial team.
Camron plans to do a lot of biking this summer and do lots of dry land training. Amanda says the same, as she plays soccer and runs a lot when there is no snow.
Coach Lawrence says both show potential and the dedication, and motivation, especially on those cold days when it would be easier to stay indoors and play video games.
Both young athletes agree on one thing however:
"It's going to take a few years to reach our goal," says Cameron.
"And maybe training four or five days a week instead of three," says Amanda.
Even though the snow will be on the ground for many more weeks in Labrador West , and a short summer is around the corner , both young skiers says their recent experience at the Provincial championships is the spark that lit the flame of ambition to someday ski as members of the provincial team.