Speedskater Henry cracks top 10 at world trials

Whitehorse speedskater Troy Henry didn't land a spot at the World Cup or set any personal best times, but he is nonetheless pleased with her performance at the World Cup Long Track Trials over the weekend.

Whitehorse speedskater Troy Henry didn’t land a spot at the World Cup or set any personal best times, but he is nonetheless pleased with her performance at the World Cup Long Track Trials over the weekend at Calgary’s Olympic Oval.

The 24-year-old went head-to-head with the fastest long-distance skaters in the country and broke into the top-10 in the 10,000-metre at the event used to select Canada’s team for the World Cup next month.

“I didn’t qualify for the World Cup, but I did place pretty well,” said Henry. “These races are about as thick as they get in Canada for the long-distance stuff. Unless it becomes an international competition, for example the North American (championships) or a World Cup or something like that, this is the toughest of the Canadian guys that come to this event.”

Henry skated to seventh out of 13 skaters, with a time of 14:11.59, in the 10,000-metre on Sunday.

He also placed 11th out of 16 top skaters in the 5,000-metre, clocking a time of 6:45.95 on Thursday to start the competition.

“This is including the national team skaters,” said Henry. “The winning time was 6:28, so I wasn’t too far off.

“My personal best is 6:42 but air pressure wasn’t quite the same as when I set that. The air pressure has quite a bearing on the times. The higher the air pressure, the more resistance there is.”

Henry, who is a member of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club and the Olympic Oval Program in Calgary, also competed in two events at the Olympic Oval Invitational that was held concurrently to the World Cup trials.

Henry sped to fourth out of 41 skaters in the 1,500-metre, logging a time of 1:51.76, just 0.23 from the podium.

He also placed 11th out of 35 skaters in the 500-metre the previous day on Friday.

“The results that I got in the invitational show I should probably have been in the (World Cup) trials for the 1,500, but I just didn’t have enough points from last year,” said Henry.

Henry qualified for the World Cup trials through the accumulation of points from last season.

He placed 12th in the 5,000-metre at the North American Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, last March.

He finished the Canada Cup series with seventh in the 10,000-metre and 20th in the 5,000-metre in Calgary.

Last season was Henry’s first full season competing in long-track since making the jump from short-track.

Henry won over a dozen medals in short-track in four Arctic Winter Games appearances between 2002 and 2008.

He has also represented the Yukon at three Canada Games, including two summer Games in cycling. On the bike Henry won the 2011 Tour of Anchorage and the 2012 Tour of Juneau.

“The results I got at national team trials may not seem very high rankings, but they are very good results for me and I’m quite pleased with them,” said Henry of the trials. “That’s against the best guys in Canada.”

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