Whitehorse speed skater Troy Henry had some ups and downs at Speed Skating Canada’s Fall World Cup long-track trials over the weekend at Calgary’s Olympic Oval.
The 22-year-old raced to fifth place out of 45 skaters in the 1,500-metre event, logging a personal best time of 1:53.89. That result was head and shoulders above his other two.
“The 1,500 went well; I got a good time in the 1,500,” said Henry. “The 5,000 did not go well at all, but that was an issue that was not related to my training.
“The 500s went OK. I didn’t get a personal best or anything, but they went OK.”
Henry, who is a member of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club, also placed 18th out of 49 skaters in the 500-metre and 16th out of 16 skaters in the 5,000-metre.
“I made a rookie mistake (in the 5,000),” said Henry. “I put on a new skin suit that I had never tried before and I skated with it. But it was too tight and I couldn’t breathe in it.
“It was just a lack of judgment and it didn’t turn out well.
“By the end of the 5,000 I was about a minute oaff of the time I wanted to get,” he added.
His lacklustre performance in the 5,000 prevented Henry from making the Canadian team for the world championships.
Henry, who trains at Calgary’s Oval Program with fellow Rapids skater Heather Clarke, is beginning his second season of long-track skating.
He switched from short-track to long-track, following a broken arm sustained during a race at the start of last season.
“I broke my arm at the end of October-beginning of November and the way I broke it I wouldn’t have been able to skate short-track to the end of March,” said Henry. “So I switched over to long-track, which is not as high-risk as short-track.
“I got some good results, so I stayed with long-track for this season.”
Henry went on to place seventh in the 5,000-metre at the North American Speed Skating Championships in February, posting 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.
Despite his disappointing start to the season, Henry still plans to compete at the North American championships next March in Salt Lake City.
“I won’t be on the national team this year going anywhere, but I’d like to get some good results and get closer to the national team for next year,” said Henry.
Henry’s move to long-track comes after plenty of successes in short-track. In four Arctic Winter Games appearances between 2002 and 2008, Henry won over a dozen medals.
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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