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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blackwater Gold Mine. (File photo)
Artemis Gold plans phased approach for Blackwater Project

Artemis Gold will directly employ up to 580 people during the initial construction period

Lesley Chaisson, Manager, Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted photo)
“We Are Open Campaign”: Vanderhoof Chamber promoting local businesses

Chamber embarks on multi-faceted approach to promote small business

Integris/Facebook.
Integris Credit Union is your financial cooperative

As a part of small business week, the Express is featuring local Vanderhoof businesses

(Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof Department Store: 28 years of exceptional and personal retail experience

As a part of small business week, the Express is featuring local Vanderhoof businesses

Scott Stevens, left, with Robert Askeland at Rich’s Saw Sales. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Rich’s Saw Sales: Multi-faceted store specializing in light industrial, home and garden

As a part of small business week, the Express is featuring local Vanderhoof businesses

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read