Imagine if this trio had access to long track ice time locally.
The Vernon Vortex speed skating team sent three athletes – Nate Benn, and Laura and Daniel Hall – to the BC Speed Skating Long Track Championships in Fort St John. The trio returned with two provincial championships and one second place finish.
Benn won his age division, taking his specialty, the sprint distances, as well as the longer events that he has been working on in his training with the local club.
In the sprint events, Benn made his presence felt by pressuring the stronger skaters in the older division with some explosive starts and quick acceleration. This is Benn’s third consecutive provincial title.
Laura Hall claimed her first B.C. title her in events by recording a reasonable 500-metre race, and then crushing the 3,000m event, winning by nearly half a minute while making some technical adjustments during the competition.
Daniel Hall ended the competition with a strong performance in the mass start 5,000m race, being the top skater in his age division. His overall performance in the competition placed him second to Sammy Green from the Coast.
Laura Hall is off to the Canada Cup competition in Calgary next weekend to prepare for the Canada Games in Red Deer, and Daniel and Nate both earned positions on Team B.C. to compete in the Canadian championships in two weeks time in Winnipeg.
The progress of this team, which has limited access to ice time in Vernon and no local access to long track ice time, is remarkable. The hard work of the athletes in their on- and off-ice training is showing.
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 dynamic team, visit www.vernonspeedskatingclub.com.