Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Vortex Speed Skating club split its efforts again this past weekend with middle distance specialist Lauryn Eddy in Ridge Meadows to experience racing with her coastal competition, finishing in the middle of the Division 4 pack, just behind provincial rival Catalina Shupe from Ridge Meadows in the sprint biased Jingle Bell cup.
The remainder of the team went to Kelowna where despite racing on slow ice, the team was able to accumulate seven personal best times. Declan Fitzpatrick recorded three best times and Mattias Isobe, Nathan Stewart, Nate Benn, and Charlie McGinty each set one personal record.
The races in Kelowna were comprised of skaters from the entire B.C. Games Zone so there was plenty of tactical games being played and lessons learned.
Nathan Stewart and Eric Anderson combined for an excellent display of racing awareness in their 1,500m race where the two of them worked together to out pace competition from Kamloops and Salmon Arm. Charlie McGinty continued his early season winning streak by winning the 1,500m race in Division 3 with his determination and fitness.
The team is switching its focus to Long Track events as the B.C. Long Track Championships approach in January which serve as a qualification event for the Canadian Championships to be held in Edmonton.
The athletes are technically and physically strong enough to be able to medal nationally, Vernon is well represented by this group of young athletes as they learn to raise their level of competitive focus.
The Vortex carry sponsorship from Interior Savings and Credit Union, Mackenzie Financial, and Manulife Financial.Information about joining this team can be found at www.vernonspeedskatingclub.com.