Williams Lake Bullets Speed Skating Club members Ty Lauren (foreground to background), Colby Bennison, Leah Lauren and Garrett Fischer round the track at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex last Thursday during a year-end mini meet.

Williams Lake Bullets Speed Skating Club members Ty Lauren (foreground to background), Colby Bennison, Leah Lauren and Garrett Fischer round the track at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex last Thursday during a year-end mini meet.

Bullets show skill at year-end mini meet

The Williams Lake Bullets Speed Skating Club took its final laps around the oval of the season March 10 with a club mini meet.

The Williams Lake Bullets Speed Skating Club took its final laps around the oval of the season March 10 with a club mini meet.

Skaters competed in race distances ranging from 100 to 1,500 metres and concluded with fun and sometimes chaotic team relays.

Deemed the “Cookie Cup,” the meet provided an opportunity for the club to do a mock run of a sanctioned meet, something they would like to plan for in the 2016/17 season, said coach Monica Johnson.

“Holding an official meet requires more than 40 volunteers and trained officials and requires the club to follow strict meet protocols set out by the BC Speed Skating Association and Speed Skate Canada,” Johnson said.

“Results from sanctioned meets are used to determine provincial rankings, which can later go on to impact a skater’s participation in provincial, national and international competitions.”

Meet co-ordinator Suzanne Cochrane set the mini-meet up almost exactly as would be required at a sanctioned meet and parents and coaches fulfilled roles such as timers, recorders, lap counters, place judges, marshallers and track stewards.

A race announcer kept the spectators engaged in the activities on the ice.

Skaters were rewarded with beautiful and delicious homemade cookie medals for their efforts.

The club travelled this year to sanctioned meets in Prince George, Kamloops, Vernon and Vanderhoof.

Johnson said a highlight was a long-track fun meet in Fort St. James where races were held on an outdoor, 400-metre long-track.

“Long-track skating requires very different skating techniques than short-track, something the skaters got to experience for the first time,” she said.

“Coaches from Fort St. James were eager to help our skaters with making the adjustments and mentoring Williams Lake coaches.”

She said skaters had a great competitive season, with the majority of the club’s skaters achieving personal bests at each of the meets.

Of particular note, Ty Lauren met provincial standards in his age class and qualified for the BC Short Track Finals.

“A few other skaters were just shy of meeting provincial standards and are already motivated for next season,” Johnson said.

The speed skating season begins in October.

For more information on the WLSSC visit www.wlspeedskating.com.

Williams Lake Tribune