With the B.C. Winter Games around the corner, Zone 3 speed skating clubs held their qualifier at Cam Neely Arena last month. As the Games-eligible skaters duked it out for medals and team spots, the Jingle Bell Cup (interclub meet for
Ridge Meadows) was being held at the same time.
There were over 125 skaters who participated in this meet. The BCWG Zone 3 qualifier is one of the toughest in the province. This zone encompasses cities from White Rock to as far east as Hope. It stretches north as far as Belacarra and south close to the Canada/US border, and it holds many speed skating clubs that train strong skaters.
The Racers had nine skaters out of the 28 who competed for medals and spots on the Zone 3 team.
In U14 Female division there were close races between Janie Green (RM Racers) and Annabel Johnson (Matsqui Blades) who ended the competition tied for gold. Amy Cave from the Poco Lightening went away with the bronze and the iron (fourth) to Shivani Bahadur from the Racers.
In U14 action, bronze went to Tim Song and iron to Marshall Shupe who are both with the Racers.
The top three skaters automatically make the Zone 3 team. Racers teammates Green and Tim Song made the team, but the team was not complete. There were 16 wild cards at play until the end of December.
On Friday the BCWG Speed Skating Provincial Advisor announced the wild card names. Three Racers were added to the team, Marshall Shupe, Pascal Chassay and Shivani Bahadur joined Green and Tim heading to the games in February.
The Racers also have Tahlon Flamma and Lilah Croft as alternates for the U14 age category. The clubs who are in the tough Zone 3 did well, and took 11 of the 16 wild card spots.
The Racers had 28 skaters gunning for medals in the Jingle Bell Cup, and the local skaters were able to capture five of the 29 medals awarded.
In Division 6, Robert McLennan tied with Curtis Albright from Mission Racers for a Silver medal. In Div 10 Daniel Watkins captured a silver and Abby Buonafede took an Iron medal home. Finally in Div. 11, siblings Zayda (Silver) and Shay (Iron) Joseph were able to grab some hardware.
The club that walked away with the most medals for Jingle Cup was Puget Sound of Washington State with eight.