Rapids zoom to three medals

It was a short track competition, but Yukoners came back with a long list of achievements.

It was a short track competition, but Yukoners came back with a long list of achievements.

Five members of Whitehorse’s Rapids Speed Skating Club took to the ice over the weekend, winning three medals at the Edmonton Fall Classic in Alberta. It was the team’s first meet of the season.

“I’m really pleased with how they did, especially so early in the season,” said Rapids head coach Phil Hoffman. “We had the two younger kids (Daryn Lovell and Hanna Wirth) and that was the first meet they’ve been out to, so it was an experience for them and they did quite well.”

Getting the best results for the Rapids were Shea Hoffman and Heather Clarke, each winning silver medals for their respective junior divisions.

For his silver, Shea finished first in the 500-metre and second in the 1,000- and 777-metre events. He also grabbed third in the 1,500-metre.

Clarke finished first in four of her seven events (including heats) and had her best final in the 1,000-metre, topping the field with a time of 1 minute, 51.99 seconds. Her only off-podium result was a fourth in the 500-metre final.

In just his first outside meet, competing in the midget division, Lovell managed to pull off a third-place result, taking first in the 500-metre final. He also finished second in both the 666- and the 333-metre finals.

Also competing in Edmonton were Rapids’ Emily Klassen, taking ninth, and Wirth, snatching sixth. Although a few spots from a medal, Wirth finished in the top three in all but one race and even plucked a first-place finish in the 500-metre finals. Klassen also topped an event, racing to first in the finals of the 1,000-metre event.

“I think everyone had some personal best times – I haven’t counted them up yet,” said Hoffman.

Also racing at the event was Whitehorse’s Troy Henry, who is currently studying in Calgary. Skating in the top male division, Henry finished 10th overall, taking second in the 500-metre and third in the 1,500-metre finals.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com