Nate Benn of the Vernon Vortex takes the lead in the Salmon Arm Ice Jam last weekend. (Jim Elliot/Black Press).

Nate Benn of the Vernon Vortex takes the lead in the Salmon Arm Ice Jam last weekend. (Jim Elliot/Black Press).

McGinty soars at Jam

The Vernon Vortex Speed skating team stayed close to home last weekend, competing at the Salmon Arm Ice Jam and recording a set of 10 personal best times and a new club record by Charlie McGinty in the 200-metres.

McGinty also tied, to the hundredth of a second, the club record in the 400 held by Daniel Hall, set in 2015. McGinty ended up winning gold in his division.

Nate Benn moved one step closer to qualifying for the B.C. Winter Games by utilizing the pace setting of Daniel Hall to improve his 1,500 time and set a new best time for himself in the process.

Hall and Benn won gold and bronze respectively in their division.

Nathan Stewart returned to action after some time off to race to a new best time in the 400.

Sam and Will McDicken each hit the ice flying to three new personal best times.Will narrowly missed going under a minute in the 400, a benchmark surely to be hit on his next attempt.

Mattias Isobe rebounded from a dramatic crash early in the competition to finish third in the 500, while Peter Blokker skated his way to a bronze medal in the Masters division.

The next big competition for the Vortex is the Kelowna Cup where the team to represent our zone in the Winter Games will be selected, Vernon is well positioned to secure a few spots. It will come down to the racing nuances of the day to decide the final team. The final tuneup takes place is this weekend in Ridge Meadows.