Henry cracks top 10 at Quebec Canada Cup

Whitehorse's Troy Henry didn't let high winds prevent a personal best time at the Canada Cup #3 in Quebec City over the weekend.

Whitehorse’s Troy Henry didn’t let high winds prevent a personal best time at the Canada Cup #3 in Quebec City over the weekend.

The 23-year-old Whitehorse Rapids skater skated to ninth place in the 5,000-metre, setting a personal best time for outdoor ice of seven minutes and 33.29 seconds.

“Ninth is OK,” said Henry.

“I was hoping for a bit better. Technically, so far, I haven’t gotten very good results outdoors because I’m used to skating indoors.”

Henry is a member of the Olympic Oval Program in Calgary. The ice at the Calgary Oval is clean and is kept between minus-two and minus-seven Celsius to maximize speed. Not to mention, there’s no wind. Those factors can make a big difference.

“(Outdoor) ice has more resistance to it because of atmospheric stuff that gets into it, like dust and grit,” said Henry. “The Olympic Oval is almost like a hermetically sealed chamber compared to an outdoor one. At the Calgary Oval, when there’s a competition, they have pads all over the place that are like extra, extra large flytraps. You walk across them so they take all the dirt off your shoes or off of your blades.”

Saturday was a good day for Henry. He also skated to 16th in the 1,500-metre. Other results from the weekend include 23rd in the 1,000-metre and 24th in the 500-metre.

“The 5,000 was probably my best distance there this weekend – my best race,” said Henry. “I was happy enough with my results.”

At the Canada Cup #2/Canadian Single Distances Championships at the Calgary Oval last month, Henry sped to seventh in his first time racing the 10,000-metre event, and 11th in the 5,000-metre at the distance championships.

He hopes to compete at the North American Long Track Championships in Salt Lake, Utah, at the start of next month.

Last year at the North Americans Henry placed seventh in the 5,000-metre with the fourth-fastest time in Canada for his age group. He also produced the third-fastest time in Canada for his age group in the 1,500-metre event at the championships.

“If you do well at North Americans, you can get points towards getting onto the national team,” said Henry.

This season marks Henry’s second in long-track since switching from short-track last season following a broken arm. He decided to stick with long-track following his strong finishes during the season.

At Speed Skating Canada’s Fall World Cup long-track trials last November in Calgary, Henry raced to fifth place out of 45 skaters in the 1,500-metre event, logging a personal best time of 1:53.89.

Henry’s move to long-track comes after plenty of successes in short-track. Henry won over a dozen medals in four Arctic Winter Games appearances between 2002 and 2008.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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