Vanderhoof speed skating club held Funnale races and activities at the arena on Saturday. Even small skaters showed potential for speed

Vanderhoof speed skating club held Funnale races and activities at the arena on Saturday. Even small skaters showed potential for speed

Nechako speed skaters on fire at short track provincials and winter games

The Vanderhoof speed skate club raced in the Provincial short track meet in Kamloops March 3-4.

Apryl Veld – Omineca Express

The Vanderhoof speed skate club raced in the Provincial short track meet in Kamloops March 3-4. The local speed lovers were having fun and honing their skills.

“Good pieces of learning happen there,” Vanderhoof Clippers president Calvin Desmerais said, “they learn how to race … when do I pass? when to come out.”

Skating in a group is one of the special skills the club’s skaters are evolving, Desmerais explained.

The moves are similar to how flocks of fowl change position, in that when one moves forward, the others make room, because being out front during key laps helps a skater earn points.

“They’re like birds,” the skate trainer said.

The Nechako area Clippers were among the 80 skaters representing 21 clubs racing at the short track meet in Kamloops, and the athletes ranged from age 11 to 80. Note that 80 is not a typo; this skater is Agatha van der Starre racing in the masters or Active For Life (AFL) division. There were skaters aged 63 and 57 and much younger also competing in AFL division that weekend.

The meet is an important all ages competition that helps everyone work on their racing chops and take in the other racers’ styles.

“One neat thing is the kids see the adults skate and doing their personal best,” the Clippers guy emphasized. It also shows that no one must stop doing what they love because of his or her age.

One of the Clipper racers, Alison Desmerais was trying to beat her own personal best time for one of these events, her father explained.

“Alison wanted to beat her 400 metre time of 42 seconds,” he said, “this would qualify her for the Canadian Western Regional Championship.  And so Desmerais did snag that goal, beating her personal best time by 1.5 seconds, and qualified to race at the CWG championships in Winnipeg, March 24-25. She won a bronze last year when the westerns were held in Kelowna.

The Clippers also sent “train to train” racers Mathew Ebert,  Jessica Sewell, and Sarah McBride to the provincial short track championship. Ebert took a silver, McBride took an iron (fourth place medal) and Sewell just missed an iron, but did an amazing skate for a fifth place finish as well.

“Everyone accomplished some important goals … we see what we can accomplish and what we can do better,” the senior Desmerais said.

He noted that Alison shared with the other skaters her racing perspective, that if you train and work at it, improving is within your reach.

Sarah McBride and Alison Desmerais also competed at the BC Winter Games and did very well.

Desmerais won a silver in the Final Standing event as well as a bronze in both final A 1,500 metre and girls 3,000 metre races.

McBride was also in the winter games spotlight having lapped all her competitors in the heat race. If a skater catches up to the last person in laps, the skater who is passed by a lap must leave the race.

“She just kept passing people,” the Clipper president said mirthfully, “the other coaches really noticed her style.”

Desmerais said the Vanderhoof and Fort St. James skaters all did well at the games, though some seeded into categories into which they could not compete for gold, they pulled off remarkable skates and broke their own personal best records,

 

Nechako Lakes Clippers Speed Skating

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read