Henry gets faster at North American championships

Whitehorse's Troy Henry has been producing better and better results all season. This past weekend he had stronger results with every race.

Whitehorse’s Troy Henry has been producing better and better results all season. This past weekend he had stronger results with every race.

The 23-year-old finished 12th in the 5,000-metre to end the North American Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday. He opened the long-track championship with 32nd in the first of two 500-metre races.

“It kind of went in the order of events I do well in,” said Henry, who is now competing in the Finale/Canada Cup 4 competition to close out the season.

“I’m really happy, and I’m feeling good for Finale,” said Henry. “I’m feeling good for it because I did well in Salt Lake City and the ice here at the (Calgary) oval should be faster. It should be pretty good.”

The Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club member placed 12th out of 47 skaters in the 5,000-metre with a time of 6:45:95, one of three personal records he set at the championship.

“Since I switched over (to long-track) not that long ago, I’m still breaking them fairly regularly,” said Henry of his personal best times. “I’m still progressing.”

Henry placed 27th out of 84 skaters in the 1,000-metre at 1:13:57 and 25th out of 78 in the second 500-metre race at 37:57 for his other personal records.

Henry also placed 16th out of 70 in the 1,500-metre at 1:51:86.

All his results were top-15 for Henry’s age group, neo senior – skaters who were from ages 19 to 22 on July 1 before the start of the season.

Henry cracked the top-10 for neo senior in the 5,000-metre with eighth.

“There are four of us (Canadians) who are right around the same age, but the other guys about my age have been skating for a while on long-track and I haven’t,” said Henry. “I’ve only skated about a year and a half on long-track. They started on long-track. I started on long-track a year and a half ago and am just catching up to them.”

Henry made the jump from short- to long-track after sustaining a broken arm midway through last season. Long-track, which tends to have fewer crashes, allowed him to continue training with his arm in a cast.

He decided to stick with long-track following his strong finishes during the season.

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 last year’s championships.

Henry, who is a member of the Olympic Oval Program in Calgary, opened the Finale/Canada Cup 4 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary by placing 12th in the 3,000-metre on Wednesday and was the second fastest Canadian in the race.

In previous Canada Cups this season, Henry placed ninth in the 5,000-metre last month in Quebec and seventh in the 10,000-metre in Calgary at the start of the year.

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.

He has also represented the Yukon at three Canada Games, including two summer Games in cycling. On the bike Henry won the 2011 Tour of Anchorage and the 2012 Tour of Juneau.

Contact Tom Patrick at