Vernon Vortex Speedskating Club member Nate Benn won four medals, including a pair of gold, at the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships in Red Deer. (Tony Benn photo)

Vernon skater wins double gold at nationals

Speedskater Nate Benn collects four medals at Canadian Youth Long Track finals

Nate Benn is a fan of skating outdoors.

Coming off a B.C. Long Track Championship win, the Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Club member travelled to Red Deer to compete in the Canadian Youth Long Track Competition against the fastest 15-year-olds in Canada, and came away with four medals, including two golds.

On a supreme outdoor track, Benn was out for blood.

The first race event distance was 300 metres. Benn powered past everyone for the gold medal, winning by almost a half-second.

Next up was the seven-lap race where, unfortunately, Benn was bumped and fell on a non-call to finish 11th.

READ MORE: Vernon speedskater glides to podium

The next day had Benn’s best distance, the 500 metres, where he again won gold, winning by a considerable margin.

His last event was the 1,500 m race, normally a challenge for the sprinter.

Benn posted the second-fastest time for the silver medal.

His combined points total placed him second overall for his fourth medal of the meet.

While Benn was off earning his hardware, the rest of the Vortex club stayed home and hosted the Okanagan-Interior FUNale.

More than 50 skaters from four to 14 swarmed Kal Tire Place North for the last regional meet of the season.

Zolie Ozero fared well, placing first in four of his five distances.

Will McDicken finished first in the 1,200m for his age group, while Ralph Rasquinha suffered his first penalty but still had a solid showing posting some new personal best times.

Lauren Miller, in her only competition of the season, posted best times in all her distances, and placed first in her 400 m event.

Sam McDicken and Charlie McGinty used the meet as a warm-up to the B.C. Winter Games in Fort St. John, —which ran Feb 19 to 24—and posted some great times.

All in all, the meet was a great success as there were many happy, tired skaters that evening.

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