BARRIE - The DCVI Nordic ski team tried to burn off the turkey-and-ham holiday calories last Thursday, Jan. 8 at their first race of the New Year. Salukis travelled to Hardwood Hills, and true to its name, the team battled the many hills the centre has to offer. The snow was new and fresh, making for some very difficult hill climbing, somewhat comparable to running on dry sand.The Junior girls skied a 3.5-kilometre course. After having figure skated for two hours before 7 a.m. in the morning, Sam Kerekes proved she had the endurance to continue with a 3-k.m. warm-up, followed by her 3.5-k.m. race. She placed 35th overall as the first St. Marys finisher.Rachel Youngston glided well across the hilly terrain, but without two more members, the Junior girls did not field a team in this event.The Junior boys, consisting of brothers Dominic and Dante Pieroni, Eric Falconer, Landon O'Hearn, Hayden Droog and Joe Aarts, placed fifth as a team. Dominic Pieroni finished 29th overall, and was the third WOSSAA regional skier to cross the finish line.The Senior girls skied the same 5-k.m. course as the Junior boys. Kierstin Myers, Nicole Barber, Loes Borgijink, Rachel Huiberts, Jane Hendriksen and Yvonne Aarts were the first WOSSAA regional team to finish, which sets them up as the team to watch out for.The Senior boys, Adam Cornwall, Ian Droog, Aaron Brown, Phil Ramus and Kyle Evans, skied a challenging 7-k.m. course against a very competitive St. Mikes team from Stratford. Upcoming: The Saluki skiers are setting their sites on the next race when the group competes at Hardwood Hills today (Wed., Jan. 14).