Whitehorse speed skater Troy Henry finished 22nd in the 5,000-metre at the Canada Cup No. 1 in Quebec City on Saturday.
It was his best result at the event, but the 22-year-old sees room for improvement.
“For me that wasn’t a very good 5,000 at all; I could have done much better,” said Henry. “So far this season I haven’t had a good one yet. I’m looking to get it better by the time Canada Cup No. 2 comes around here in Calgary.”
Henry knows he can go faster because he has – significantly faster. On Saturday he finished with a time of 7:50.72, just over a minute slower than his time from the North American Speed Skating Championships in February.
Locale makes a big difference. The Canada Cup was held at the Gaetan-Boucher Oval, an outdoor facility.
“It took me a while to get used to the outdoor ice,” said Henry. “Coming from short-track, I’m used to more controlled climate. With long-track outdoor, it’s not very controlled – you’re outside. With short-track I’m used to being in an arena.
“The outdoor ice is different from indoor ice, I’m not really used to that yet. I started getting better by the end of the competition.”
Henry, who is a member of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club, also placed 40th out of 66 skaters in the 500-metre, 35th in the 1,000-metre and 37th in the 1,500-metre, just 3.727 seconds behind the winner.
In a second set of races, Henry placed 24th in 1,000-metre, and 26th out of 58 skaters in 500-metre.
“For the 500 and 1,000 – the second ones I did – they were both personal best for outdoor ice,” said Henry. “Outdoor ice makes a big difference.”
This season marks Henry’s second in long-track since switching from short-track last season following a broken arm. Long-track allowed Henry to continue skating – even with his arm in a cast – since long-track skaters have fewer falls than in short-track. He decided to stick with long-track following some strong finishes during the season.
Henry placed seventh in the 5,000-metre at the North American championships with the fourth-fastest time in Canada for his age group in February. He also produced the third-fastest time in Canada for his age group in the 1,500-metre event at the championships.
At the Speed Skating Canada’s Fall World Cup long-track trials last month in Calgary, Henry raced to fifth place out of 45 skaters in the 1,500-metre event, logging a personal best time of 1:53.89.
Henry’s move to long-track comes after plenty of successes in short-track. In four Arctic Winter Games appearances between 2002 and 2008, Henry won over a dozen medals.
He has also represented the Yukon at three Canada Games including two summer Games in cycling.
Henry will be back in action at the Canada Cup No. 2 Jan. 3-6 at the Calgary Oval.
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