Russell Dow, 3, of Vernon, gets some help by referee Kristina Kreick at speed skating competition in Kelowna. (Photo Submitted)

Russell Dow, 3, of Vernon, gets some help by referee Kristina Kreick at speed skating competition in Kelowna. (Photo Submitted)

Skaters qualify for Winter Games

The Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Team have qualified two athletes for the B.C. Winter Games

The Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Team haver qualified two athletes for the B.C. Winter Games, Feb. 22-25, in Kamloops.

Daniel and Laura Hall made the grade at the Kelowna Cup and Winter Games Trials last weekend with Nate Benn narrowly missing getting a third spot in pre-qualification.

The Halls secured their spot in pre-selection by each winning their divisions. Daniel set two club records in the 200m and 400m events in the process, coming up with the performances of his year so far on the hard, slow ice in Kelowna.

Benn finished the competition just short of securing a spot on the team but coaches expect him to be named to the team during the final selections later this month after he took the 200m and 400m races at the trials.

Nathan Stewart is also in the running to be named to the team during the final selection process pending the outcome of races in Richmond this weekend. Mattias Isobe was forced out of the competition due to an injury sustained in a crash in the Salmon Arm Ice Jam.

This will be the largest contingent of Vernon Speed Skaters sent to a BC Winter Games in the club’s 25-year history.

Will and Sam McDicken continued improving their times. Sam notched two personal best times and Will set a new personal best in the 200m.

Tova Dow lit up the track with a perfect three-for-three personal best times, showing off her awesome will to compete. Perhaps stealing the show from all was Russell Dow, who at age three, was the youngest competitor in the meet and ended up being a crowd favorite in his first competition.

The Vortex team carries sponsorship from Sproing Creative, Manulife Financial, Mackenzie Financial, Interior Savings, and Tolko. For information on how to join this dynamic team, visit www.vernonspeedskatingclub.com.