Whitehorse’s Troy Henry feels he’s back in racing form. Weekend results indicate he’s right.
The 23-year-old speedskater had much improved results from his previous competition while at the Canada Cup 2/Canadian Single Distances Championships at the Calgary Oval.
“I’m pretty happy to be back in racing form. The beginning of the season was a little bit rough,” said Henry. “I have things figured out with my training and it’s working good now.”
Henry, who is a member of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club, sped to seventh out of 12 skaters in his first time racing the 10,000-metre event, and 11th out of 15 in the 5,000-metre at the distance championships.
His time of 6:48.91 in the 5,000 was a seasonal best and just two seconds off a personal best.
“It was two seconds off my personal best, but over 5,000-metres, two seconds is not a very long time,” said Henry. “So it’s feasible that I can get a personal best by the end of the season.”
Henry also placed 12th out of 44 in the 1,000-metre and 22nd out of 66 skaters in the 500-metre with a time of 37.60 seconds in the Canada Cup portion of the weekend.
He was disqualified in the other 500-metre race at the Canada Cup.
“I came out of the corner a little bit too wide and I crossed the line by about three centimetres and they caught me,” said Henry. “I didn’t realize I did it, but apparently that’s what happened.
“Unfortunately that was a really fast time for me. I skated that 500 in 37.05 … that was going to be a personal best for me.”
A 37.05 would have put Henry in 10th place.
At the Canada Cup 1 in Quebec last month, Henry’s best result was 22nd in the 5,000-metre.
The Canadian Single Distances Championships portion of the weekend races was also the national team trials. Although Henry didn’t make the team, he feels his results are moving him in the right direction.
“The best guys in Canada were there racing on the weekend, and I got seventh in the 10-kilometre and 11th in the five-kilometre,” said Henry. “I’m really happy with my results, but seventh and 11th won’t get me on the national team.
“My goal for next year is to make it on the national developmental team or something like that.”
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 some strong finishes during the season.
Henry placed seventh in the 5,000-metre at the North American championships with the fourth-fastest time in Canada for his age group last February. He also produced the third-fastest time in Canada for his age group in the 1,500-metre event at the championships.
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.
He has also represented the Yukon at three Canada Games including two summer Games in cycling. On the bike Henry won the Tour of Anchorage in 2011 and the 2012 Tour of Juneau. He also holds the course record in VeloNorth Cycling Club’s Skagway Hill Climb race, setting the record in 2009.
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