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New events at speed skating championships

First over the finish line didn't mean as much as it used to at the Yukon Speed Skating Championships Sunday evening at the Canada Games Centre.

First over the finish line didn’t mean as much as it used to at the Yukon Speed Skating Championships Sunday evening at the Canada Games Centre.

Hosted by the Rapids Speed Skating Club, the championships saw two new events added this year that break from traditional racing formats.

Turning the relay race on its head, instead of completing an X-amount of laps in as little time as possible, this year’s relay challenged teams to complete as many laps as possible in 10 minutes. Further breaking from the norm, it was up to the teams to decided when to alternate.

“That’s a different type of race we’re doing this year,” said Rapids head coach Phil Hoffman. “There’s two people on a team and they see how many laps they can complete in 10 minutes.

“It depends on the kids. Usually it’s two each before they switch.”

The championships also included a 3000-metre points race. Not too different from the criterium event in cycling, an event that basically consists of little races within a larger race, skaters would race for points in predesignated laps.

Winning the inaugural points race, which was for the younger divisions, were Kathryn Fortune and Micah Taggart-Cox with 45 laps. Taggart-Cox also had success in the individual races of the Learn-to-Train division, finishing first in the 200- and the 300-metre races.

The points race, which was for juniors and up, was won by junior Donald Fortune. Donald also won the 1000-, 1500- and 500-metre individual events for juniors.

In the youngest FUNdamentals division, Lucas Taggart-Cox, was first in three races, all with personal best times, also winning 100-metre pursuit with Wyatt Burnett.

In the Train-to-Train division, Daryn Lovell won both the 400- and 500-metre races.

For the two masters divisions, Malcolm Taggart took first in the 777- 500- and 666-metre races. In the other, Michel Lefebvre won both the 1500- and 500-metre races - both with personal best times - and came second in the 1000-metre behind Hoffman, who was second behind Lefebvre in the other races.

“I’m almost 20 years older than him, so come on, give me a break,” said Hoffman.

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