The Vernon Vortex Speed Skating club was fully engaged in racing this past weekend hosting the Interior FUNale for clubs from Fort St. James to Kelowna at Kal Tire Place.
Overall, the team performed well, recording 18 personal best time with Mattias Isobe leading the charge with a perfect four out of four personal bests.
The highlight of the competition was Tadhg Boyle completing his qualification for the provincial championships by knocking off 16 seconds from his previous 1,500m time with the help of Isobe and the encouragement of his entire club during the race.
Ethan and Andrew Blackmore, as well as Liliana Buzatu, all made new personal best times in three distances, Nate Benn and Boyle achieved two personal best times and Daniel Hall was able to skate one personal best in the 500m event.
Daniel Hall, Declan Fitzpatrick, Ethan Blackmore and Peter Blokker all won gold in their divisions.
Nathan Stewart and Liliana Buzatu each won silver in their divisions and Nate Benn, Andrew Blackmore and Isobe all brought home the bronze. Boyle won the iron medal for his division.
While all the excitement was going on at Kal Tire Place, Laura Hall was in Quebec City representing Vernon and the province in the Canadian championships.
“Laura has trained hard this year and her hard work paid off with four personal best times at her most important event so far in the season,” said her coach, Mike Hall. Laura skated the second leg of the team relay and had team B.C. out to a sizable lead when a teammate in the anchor position fell.
The team missed a medal by a narrow margin but look to be the favorites for next year.
In the 3,000m event Laura skated a gritty race, taking the lead from the start and setting a fast pace. She was able to hold off the majority of the pack and finish in fourth, just two-tenths of a second out of the bronze medal position.
The Vortex would like to express thanks to sponsors Interior Savings Credit Union and Mackenzie Financial for making the club’s progress possible.