Ridge Meadows speed skaters were well represented at the Richmond Olympic Oval, as seven members of the Racers competed in the Western Elite Circuit event, while six attended the Western T2T Meet earlier this month.
The morning circuit event had 19 female competitors and 42 male competitors. The afternoon WT2T (training to train) had also 19 females and 30 males. Skaters from the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Japan and India came to compete in Richmond.
The Western Elite Circuit was an open competition from ages 14 to 24, for skaters who are eligible to participated if they meet specific time standards.
Racer Janie Green (JrB) and sister Annabelle did well in the female open division. Janie finished fifth and Annabelle (T2T14) was seventh overall in the women’s division. Both skaters had good performances, with Janie setting a new personal best in the 1,000 metre (1:42.493) and Annabelle in the 500 m (49.981) and 1,000 m (1:43.690).
Marshall Shupe II (JrB) also performed well in the men’s division. Shupe finished seventh overall in a difficult field of men skaters. He posted the fastest time for the preliminaries in the 1,000 m on the second day (1:32.852) and then finished first in the quarter-finals.
During the semis, a Prince George skater clipped his blades, which caused Shupe to slide across the ice and take another skater from India into the boards. Luckily no injuries occurred. Due to this incident, he and the other skater were advanced into the A final. During the A final, Shupe missed the opportunity to finish in one of the top positions due to a Japanese skater falling into him, and he finished in fifth place. He had an overall good competition throughout the weekend.
The Western T2T competition skaters from the different Western provinces to show their skating speed. Samuel Green and Rohann Chassay competed in the T2T 12/13 Male division.
Green had a great performance finishing at the top of his division. He posted personal bests in 200 m (0:21,27), 400 m (0:40.242) and finished first in the 2,000 m points race. Chassay did well despite nursing a leg injury, finishing eighth overall.
Catalina Shupe, Willa Ludeman, and Hailey and Piper Friesen worked hard during the competition to improve their personal bests. Catalina had a personal best 400 m (0:45.623), and in the 1,500 m she achieved a 3:05.607, taking 13 seconds off her personal best that she set in the BC Winter Games Zone 3 trials two weeks earlier. She finished third overall in this age division.
Hailey also hit a personal best in the 1,500 m of 3:32.357, taking 17 seconds off her previous time, and she finished sixth.
The T2T 11/12 female had a field of 12 skaters where Willa Ludeman and Piper Friesen had solid performances. Ludeman had a personal best in her 1,500 m of 3:20.255 and finished eighth overall, while P. Friesen had personal bests in the 1,500 m (3:46.546), and 200 m (0:29.738) for an overall standing of 10th.