Morning Star Staff
Connie Kapak of Vernon flies to Winnipeg on Thursday for the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating Championships.
The 13-year-old will be there as the B.C. winner after sweeping four distance races at the provincials last weekend in Fort St. John.
There were six entrants in the female division and Kapak earned one personal best. Most of her best times were previously set at the Calgary Olympic Oval, the world’s fastest ice surface.
She now has won three provincial titles in long track to go with six in short track.
Kapak travelled north with the Nelson club head coach, Jason Hartleb, and his 14-year-old son, Tyler, who also returned with a gold medal, his first.
In an effort to keep pace with the norther skaters, Kapak has spent a lot of time training at the Calgary Oval. She also skated with the Edmonton club during the Christmas holiday season, however, with their outside track, at minus 27 degrees, track time was limited.
The Vernon Speed Skating Club was represented by three athletes in Fort St. John.
The team was led by Laura Hall who had an unbeaten weekend, winning the second division of the under 11 age group. Daniel Hall was the top male under 11 in the 5000-m event while Laura was the top female under 11 in the 5000.
Peter Blokker finished 12th in the Masters category, filling a role as both mentor and competitor for other members of the Masters division.
Said coach Mike Hall: The Vernon Speed Skating Club has laid the foundation for success that can be built upon next year. Clubs around the province noticed the positive participation and sportsmanship displayed by our group,”