CHARLOTTETOWN – A pair of P.E.I. speed skaters are set to compete in two different high-level events this weekend.
Michael Rogers of Charlottetown is competing for P.E.I. at the Canadian age class short-track championships in Prince George, B.C., while Pleasant Grove’s Jared Vriends will be on the long track, competing in Canada Cup No. 4 at the Calgary Olympic Oval.
For Rogers, this year’s event marks his first trip to the national event since 2010, after which the minimum age of competitors was raised.
Rogers, once again age-eligible for the event this season, qualified last fall and has consistently ranked among the top Atlantic short-track skaters all season. Now, he is looking for some strong national-level results at the venue, which will host next year’s Canada Games short-track competition.
Racing gets underway on Friday and wraps up on Sunday. Rogers will race four individual distances, and team with New Brunswick skaters in the relay event.
Vriends also qualified for the short-track championships in Prince George, but elected to compete in Calgary in long track. The P.E.I. skater has trained and competed in both disciplines this season, setting new provincial records in both. Most recently, Vriends set a new P.E.I. short-track record for his age group in the 1,500-metre distance in Saint Andrews, N.B., shortly after meeting the Canada Cup qualifying standard on the long track.
The meet in Calgary boasts a large national and international field, including some of Canada’s 2014 Olympians and national team members, along with skaters from the United States, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Japan. The four-day event was scheduled to start on Thursday and conclude on Sunday.
Both skaters are members of Speed Skate P.E.I.’s club in Charlottetown.