Speed skating during the recent Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games was one of two fun events hosted by the Vernon Vortex club on the same weekend at Kal Tire Place North. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)

Vernon club hosts fun skating events

Vernon Vortex hosted speed skating at Special Olympics BC Winter Games, and its own FUNale

The Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Club hosted two very fun events in one weekend.

The first was the BC Special Olympic Winter Games. In conjunction with the rest of the events around the city, the speed skating event went off without a hitch. The competitors and coaches left happy and with smiles, as did the volunteers.The Vortex was proud to host this amazing event.

The Special Olympic athletes hadn’t even left the building and the club rolled right unit the 2019 Interior FUNale, an end-of-season event for local regional skaters. For the younger skaters, it is the last meet of the season. For older skaters it is the last chance to qualify for provincials.

An exciting event was anticipated for all, and it failed to disappoint. Especially for the Vernon skaters.

The Vortex’s youngest skater, Russell Dow, put in a solid effort and put up a best time in all of his distances. The best being his 100-meter final, casting off more than five seconds.

RELATED: Vernon Vortex skaters outlast Winnipeg cold

In Division 2, skaters Zolie Ozero and Tova Dow showed up. Ozero has been improving all season and proved that by winning all the races in his group, besting once again on all of his times. Dow was consistent, coming across the line in second place for all her races in her group, most notably in her 800-m race showing some true grit leading almost all of the laps but getting edged out in the last lap.

In Division 3, Will McDicken was in a very fast group. He finished tied for second in points, while posting best times in his 400- and 500-m events.

In Division 4, Lauren Miller, coming off a rough cold, showed she had what it takes. Miller clocked best times in three out of four of her races, the most exciting being in the 200-m, in which she made her provincial standard time which qualifies her for provincials.

Last but not least, in Division 5, was Sam McDicken. McDicken, moving up a division recently, was in the top group with the fastest kids in the region. McDicken had some great races and even raced a 1,500-m for the first time. Along with Miller, McDicken qualified for provincials as well.

RELATED: Vernon Vortex skaters capture B.C. titles

Nate Benn, Daniel Hall, Charlie McGinty, Sam McDicken, and Lauren Miller are Vortex skaters heading to the B.C. finals in Prince George.

The Vortex team would like to express thanks to its sponsors, Sproing Creative, Manulife, Mackenzie Financial, Interior Savings, and Tolko, all of whom contribute to making the development of young athletes possible.

For information on how to join this vibrant team, check our website at www.vernonspeedskatingclub.com.


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