This past weekend the six skaters from Nechako Lake Speed Skating Club from Vanderhoof competed in the WorkSafe BC Provincial Long Track Championship in Fort St. James.
Nicole Ebert and Anne Douglas earned gold in the masters category, Alison Desmarais won a silver in the girls 14 year old group, and two medals were won in the boys 13 year old group, Matthew Ebert was awarded the gold and Lachlan Fantillo the bronze.
Hilary Desmarais missed the medals due to a disqualification, but is still in the running to qualify to skate at the Canadian Age Class Championships. Hilary won the gold at last year’s competition and is looking forward to the opportunity to skate again. Each of the skaters who won a medal qualifies to compete at the Canadian Age Class Long Track Championships in Fort St. John February 11-12.
The Vanderhoof speed skating club also provided officials to help run the event. Richard vanErp was the chief timer, Mike Fantillo was behind the scenes recording results and setting up races. Julie Desmarais was at ice level timing skaters both days. Sheila Woolnough marshaled skaters on Sunday. Coaches Calvin Desmarais and Nicole Ebert provided encouragement and advice to skaters at ice level.
Along with the provincial; championship, a fun meet was also run for the younger skaters. The meet was organized by the three clubs in the area.
Fort St. James hosted the meet with help organizing and coordination from the Vanderhoof and Prince George clubs. There were just over 100 competitors skating for the two days. Given the size of the event, the town of Vanderhoof played a role in providing accommodations for clubs from the Lower Mainland, interior as well as clubs from the north east.
Westline Ford provided an official shuttle for the meet and the Vanderhoof council contributed funding to support the championship. The event was a great experience for Nechako Lake skaters as well as the community. The chance to participate in hosting and competing in a provincial championship is a great opportunity for the Nechako Lake Clippers Speed Skating Club.
Skaters from Nechako Lake Clippers Speed Skating Club will also be participating in the BC Winter Games in mid February, the WorkSafeBC Provincial Short Track Championship in early March and the Canadian Western Short Track Championship at the end of March .
The Vanderhoof club is also hosting a northern regional FUNale meet on March 10 at the Vanderhoof arena.