Speed skaters celebrate strong year

Journal Pioneer staff
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CHARLOTTETOWN – Jared Vriends and Carly Connell have been named the top male and female speed skaters on P.E.I. for the 2013-14 season.

Speed Skate P.E.I. recognized award winners for the 2013-14 season at its recent annual awards dinner. Jared Vriends and Carly Connell were named the season’s top speed skaters.

The awards were handed out recently at Speed Skate P.E.I.’s 15th annual spaghetti dinner and awards in Charlottetown, with more than 100 members of the Island speed skating community on hand.

Vriends had a season of fine results and new provincial records in both the long-track and short-track disciplines, including a lengthy list of new long-track records for his age group.

Connell overcame an injury that resulted ion surgery last summer, and returned mid-season to take top spot among female competitors at Atlantic region competitions and setting new P.E.I. records on the short track. Connell was a repeat winner of the female honour, her third in the last five seasons while Vriends was a first-time winner.

President’s award

Scott Beamish was named winner of the president’s award in recognition of his athletic excellence on the national stage and contributions to the Speed Skate P.E.I. program as an ambassador and mentor. Beamish has trained in Calgary for the last four years while attending university. 

The Warren Grove native placed 13th at a national team selection event last fall, before his season was cut short due to injury. Speed Skate P.E.I. president Rob Binns called Beamish a great role model for the club’s aspiring skaters and a great contributor to Speed Skate P.E.I.

Andrew Binns was named top skater in the competitive B group while brothers Peter and Thomas McQuaid were named most promising skaters in the competitive A and B groups, respectively. 

Mathew Kozma picked up rookie-of-the-year honours among competitive skaters, and Eliana Monthony won the perseverance award.

Rob Binns was named masters skater of the year.

Simon Hale and Mia Stewart were named top male and female skaters for the season in the club’s Speed Skating 2 group, and Karla McCallum took the rising star award in the group.

In the learn-to-speed-skate program, Liam Chatfield and Jane Bruce nabbed top skater honours. Zachary Chatfield earned the rising star award, and Anderson Arseneau was named rookie of the year.

Certificates

Certificates were presented to skaters who set new provincial records in their respective age categories during the year. In short-track, new records were set by Carly Connell (500 metres), Michael Rogers (200 metres, 400 metres), Jared Vriends (1,500 metres), Scott Beamish (500 metres, 1,000 metres, 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres) and Rob Binns (500 metres, 777 metres, 1,000 metres, 1,500 metres). 

On the long-track oval, Jared Vriends set seven new records, both indoor and outdoor, in Olympic-style racing. Vriends set new benchmarks both indoor and outdoor in the 500-metre, 1,000-metre and 1,500-metre distances, along with a 3,000-metre outdoor record.

Trophies

Trophies were also presented to skaters based on their relative time improvements demonstrated during handicap time trial races throughout the season. Award winners included:

Gold – Andrew McQuaid, Miriam Burnett, Rob Binns, Kristen Binns, Ison Li, Karla McCallum, Zachary Chatfield and Jane Bruce.

Silver – Peter McQuaid, Carly Connell, Mathew Kozma, Isabel Wagner, Thomas Wagner, Holly Nickerson and Liam Chatfield.

Bronze – Michael Rogers, Korrina LeClair, Michael Kozma, Patrick Soucy, Addison Bruce, Dakota Jager, Jessie Deboer and Madelyn Iwankow.

All learn-to-skate and learn-to-speed-skate participants received medals and were recognized for their tremendous energy and improvements during the season.

Information on Speed Skate P.E.I. and its programs can be found on the club’s website at www.speedskatepei.com.

Organizations: Speed Skating 2

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Atlantic, Calgary Warren Grove

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