The Yukon Speed Skating Championship is the last chance for members of the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club to notch personal best times.
The vast majority did exactly that on Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.
Fourteen of 18 skaters outstripped themselves with a total of 39 personal best times at the season-ending short-track event.
“For some of the younger kids it’s a good chance to set personal bests and a lot of them do,” said Rapids head coach Phil Hoffman. “They only get three or four times to try the races during the year and each time they go out they improve.
“Personal bests is how we gauge how kids are doing because we have a wide variation in ability of kids who are out there. So it’s not if you were first or second, it’s about how you compare to how you did last time.”
Simon Lauer, Joshua Lauer, Emily Robbins and Max Karpinski all registered PBs in all four of their races. Huxley Briggs and father Bernard Briggs both set “new” times, racing events for their first time.
Robbins cut the most of anyone. After four races, she sliced a total of 40.68 seconds off her times, all combined.
“We call them Yukon championships, but it’s kind of a fun way for the kids to end the season, to have a series of races,” said Hoffman. “Some of them have been to competitions outside (the territory), so this is a fun way to wrap things up. So I’m not looking for outstanding results.”
Though a friendly event, it should be noted Huxley, Joshua and Malcolm Taggart-Cox were the only ones to clean-sweep, winning all four of their races. Lisa Freeman and Micah Taggart-Cox came close with three out of four.
“One thing that stands out for me is that Caius Taggart-Cox skated well,” said Hoffman. “He got cut pretty severely earlier in the season during practice. He got a skate blade on the upper lip. So since then he’s been a little gun shy to get in and really race, but he took control of a couple races, which is nice to see.”
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