Fort St. James Speed Skaters, Morgon Bennison, Sean Houghton and Amy Waddell competed in the Provincial Long Track Speed Skating Championships held in Dawson Creek on Jan. 21 – 22.
Conditions were cold but the ice was good and comparable to the tracks here in the Fort and in Prince George.
Our 3 skaters have been working very hard on their skating this winter and this is their 3rd outdoor meet in a three week period. Yet all the skaters were able to skate two personal best times in the meet.
Each skater has qualified for the Canadian Age class Championships being held this year in Edmonton in February.
Morgon skated four terrific Olympic style races winning each and then won the mass start race that concluded the meet.
Amy and Sean both made huge improvements to their skating and have improved their technique tremendously.
Morgon won the junior division, Amy won the 11 year old girls division and Sean won second in the 12 year old boys division.
Each skater has made great improvements in their long track skating and had two personal best times on the weekend. Each has also qualified for the Canadian Age Class Long Track Championships being held in Edmonton in February.
Amy had been struggling to acquire the challenging corner technique and got it just in time to surprise quite a few other skaters and coaches!!!
Sean has been getting stronger and skating better and had one particularly impressive time in his 3000 metres.
Morgon also won the end-of-the-meet mass start 5000 metres where any skater or coach is welcome to compete.
There were 40 skaters at least including skaters from Fort St. James (but not the coach!).
After 11 laps, a Kelowna skater had a 50 metre lead on Morgon and the pack.
We all thought Morgon had left it too late but in the 2nd last corner, he sped up and easily passed for the win.
It makes for a nice story in that Randy Sulyma, who the race is named after and who died six years ago while driving to this same meet, was Morgon’s first skating coach.