Speedskaters from the Whitehorse Rapids answered a question at the R U Fast Speed Skating Meet at the Olympic Oval in Calgary over the weekend.
The answer was yes. They are fast.
The eight Yukon skaters took in a bundle of top-three finishes at the meet hosted by the Calgary Speed Skating Association.
“It was quite a good meet for all of them,” said Rapids head coach Phil Hoffman. “It was the first one some of them had been to all year and in some cases first one they had ever been to.”
Whitehorse’s Hanna Wirth raced to first in the 10,000-metre and third in 400-metre and 3,000-metre races on her way to placing 13th overall in Division 1 girls.
Marsh Lake’s Micah Taggart-Cox zoomed to sixth in Division 7 boys. He won the 10,000-metre and was third in 400-metre.
Haines Junction brothers Michael and Christopher Ritchie finished in the top half of Division 8 boys.
Michael came third overall in the division with first in the 200-metre and 1,500-metre, second in the 400-metre and third in the 3,000-metre.
Christopher was close behind, coming fifth overall with first in the 10,000-metre, second in the 400-metre and third in the 1,500-metre.
“Micah finish sixth in his group, which was quite good because most of the kids were older than him,” said Hoffman.
“The Ritchie boys hadn’t been to (a competition) yet and they both skated quite well. Michael finishing third overall in his group was quite a good result.”
Rapids’ youngest skaters took in strong results in the L2T (Learn to Train) division.
Marsh Lake’s Calus Taggart-Cox placed third overall in Division 11 for mixed skaters. He came second in the 1,000-metre and third in the 400-metre.
Brother Lucas placed ninth in the same division, claiming second in the 1,000-metre and third in the 200-metre.
When not coaching, Hoffman was busy winning races.
Hoffman had a clean sweep in the masters division, winning the 500-, 1,000-, 1,500- and 3,000-metre races.
Marsh Lake’s Malcolm Taggart, also in masters, skated to second overall in the division behind Hoffman, with personal best times across the board.
Wirth won four medals, including a gold, while representing the Yukon at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games.
Christopher and Michael Ritchie won a silver in the 2,000-metre juvenile male relay at last year’s Games.
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