Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Club member Zolie Ozero (right) keeps his balance while those around him do not during his debut meet at the Salmon Arm Ice Breakers’ Winter Classic event at the Shaw Centre. (Kristal Burgess photography)

Vernon Vortex members shine at Shaw

Small group of four compete in Salmon Arm Ice Breakers’ speed skating meet

The Vernon Vortex had a small but successful group of skaters attend the Salmon Arm Ice Breaker Winter Classic meet at the Shaw Centre.

Four members skated while clubmates Nate Benn, Daniel Hall and Laura Hall decided to take a break from racing and put on their volunteer hats. Benn and Daniel Hall mastered track stewarding, and Laura hall tried her hand at place judging.

Charlie McGinty showed up for the Classic with his usual determination and vigour. McGinty traded first and second all day with a Kelowna skater. An unfortunate fall in his 1,200-metre race put McGinty into a solid second overall place, earning a silver medal.

Brothers Sam and Will McDicken were paired together for most of their races. That didn’t stop Sam from getting one of his two provincial qualifying times. Will was close behind his brother for most of the races but is too young to attend provincials this year. Young Will had some solid races, earning a bronze medal in his division. Despite a fall, older sibling Sam fought back and stood on the podium in the silver medal position.

Also racing in his first meet was Zolie Ozero. Very excited to be racing, Ozero clocked some solid times for his first time out. The most surprising was the 800m race. Showing that it was a distance that he was very comfortable in Ozero came in second for that race, despite a questionable penalty, pushing Ozero into a final placing of fourth overall.

Vortex members also travelled to Calgary’s Olympic Oval for the CanAm long track, and single distance short track meets.

The club would like to thank all their sponsors, without them none of this would be possible: Sproing Creative, Manulife Financial, Mackenzie Financial, Interior Savings and Tolko.

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Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Club member Charlie McGinty (left) avoids a fallen competitor during a race at the Salmon Arm Ice Breakers’ Winter Classic meet at the Shaw Centre. (Kristal Burgess Photography)

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