Rapids skaters accelerate into new season

Members of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club were increasingly rapid as they kicked off a new season over the weekend.

Members of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club were increasingly rapid as they kicked off a new season over the weekend.

The speedy skaters set a total of 32 personal best times in their first club races of the season at the Canada Games Centre on Sunday.

“I know a lot of kids were skating quite well compared to what they were at last year, so I’m not surprised they got that many personal bests,” said Rapids head coach Phil Hoffman. “A lot of the younger kids seem to crank them out quite frequently … They’re growing and getting better at skating, too.”

However, personal best times couldn’t be partially attributed to physical growth for all the skaters. Masters (over-30) skater Andy Muir was the only one to set a PB in every event he raced, coming away with four.

“Andy is one of our masters skaters and he’s getting better too,” said Hoffman. “He’s been skating for a couple years – he’s one of the parents who got into it because his kid was skating, so he decided to come out and skate too. He’s getting better for sure.”

Rapids’ Cord Hamilton, Emma Hamilton, and Marsh Lake brothers Micah, Lucas and Caius Taggart-Cox all posted three PBs Sunday.

Isaac McPherson set four PBs in six events, breaking the one-minute mark in the 500-metre event.

“He was in our development group last year and I brought him up into our advanced group this season,” said Hoffman. “So it looks like he’s responding to skating more, getting more training in, more coaching, and he’s speeding up.”

Muir also beat one other skater in his division to win all four of his races, as did Joshua Lauer. Emma Hamilton beat two others to win all four of hers.

Winners were less consistent among the club’s top young skaters, who took part in five-person races. Micah Taggart-Cox won the 1,000-metre and the 3,000-metre, Shea Hoffman took the 500-metre and Michael Ritchie – who represented Yukon at the Canada Winter Games in February – won the 1,500-metre.

“The other kids were kind of using Shea as their rabbit and trying to chase him,” said Hoffman. “It paid off for them a little bit. They were able to take advantage of him pulling them for most of the race and take him at the line.”

The three Taggart-Cox brothers, Tristan Muir, Shea Hoffman and Ritchie will represent the Rapids club at a meet in Edmonton this weekend.

A total of 17 skaters took part in the season-opening races on Sunday.

“A few of those kids it was the first time they were racing because they just started,” said Phil. “So if was nice for them to get to race, see what it’s like.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Vuntut Gwitchin citizen sues First Nation over council’s residency requirement

Cindy Dickson, a VGFN citizen who lives in Whitehorse, had her nomination forms rejected for the 2018 election

Video: After a trying rookie race in the Yukon Quest, Nathaniel Hamlyn and his team are back for more

“I’m going to try to keep the team together and happy — that’s my big goal.”

The Friends of McIntyre Creek community group wants a new park

Friends of McIntyre Creek asked Whitehorse City Council on Jan. 21 to… Continue reading

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Judge dismisses Shelley Cuthbert’s defamation lawsuit after she fails to post $15k security

Cuthbert was not present in court during a brief hearing on Jan. 21

Weather cooperates for Yukon Cross Country Ski Championships

After being postponed a week, temperatures improved enough to allow racing on Jan. 19

Yukoner Michelle Phillips finishes fifth at Copper Basin 300

“So the trail was put in and then the temperatures dropped down to -40 C. It makes for a fast trail”

Editorial: Lessons learned from flushing $35 million

At multiple points in the saga of the Dawson wastewater facility someone could have stepped in

Commentary: A backwards step on saving energy

Cody Reaume Electricity demand is growing in the Yukon, but our regulator… Continue reading

Climate change training teaches youth

A four-day workshop takes place in Whitehorse this month

Most Read