December 18th, 2014, Charlottetown – P.E.I. short track skaters won fifteen medals including three gold at the recent Charles Gorman Memorial Speed Skating Championships in Saint John, N.B.. With that total, the Island team tied the host Saint John club for tops in the overall medal count, ahead of six other clubs from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Andrew McQuaid (Division 2), Miriam Burnett (Division 2) and Kristen Binns (Division 4) each picked up gold medals for the Island contingent. McQuaid won three of his four distances while putting up a pair of personal bests at the meet. Burnett, of Charlottetown, also recorded a pair of personal best times. Binns notched one personal best time and an “A” final win in her 200 metre sprint.
Winning silver medals for P.E.I. were Jared Vriends (Division 1), Korrina LeClair (Division 2), Andrew Binns (Division 3), Eliana Monthony (Division 4), Jenna Larter (Division 7) and Alex Rogers (Division 10). Vriends, of Pleasant Grove, won his third medal in as many meets this season, narrowly edging Michael Rogers as the fastest Island skater in the event. LeClair was unable to race in her last two distances after an injury, but had enough points banked to secure her silver, while Binns, of Stratford, earned his second straight silver and third medal in three regional meets this Fall. Monthony’s silver marked her first off-Island meet of the season, while for Larter, the hardware capped a strong debut in off-Island competition. Meanwhile, Rogers earned his first podium finish of the season with PBs in three of his four distances.
Bronze medal winners for P.E.I. were Michael Rogers (Division 1), Rob Binns (Division 2), William Lyons (Division 4), Ben Keizer (Division 6), Simon Hale (Division 7) and Addison Bruce (Division 9). Rogers broke 47 seconds for the first time in the 500 metre distance, recording the fastest time in the distance by a P.E.I. skater this season. Binns set a pair of new provincial records for Masters skaters, in the 500m and 1000m distances. Lyons, who skates with the Island club in Charlottetown as well as with the new Eastern Kings Speed Skating Club in Souris, grabbed his first medal of a strong season in the very competitive Division 4. Keizer grabbed three PBs enroute to his first podium finish of the season, as did Bruce. Hale also skated to a pair of personal best times.
“This meet had the stiffest competition that most of our skaters have faced so far this year,” said P.E.I. coach Sarah Taylor. “To have as much success as we did and to see the improvements in times and race tactics as the season progresses is encouraging. We had P.E.I. skaters at or near the top of every division, which is always exciting. Not only that, but our top skaters who are looking ahead to Canada Games affirmed that they can be competitive at that level, based on what we saw here.”
Also competing for P.E.I. in the field of 129 Maritime skaters were Zach Moran, Peter McQuaid, Thomas McQuaid, Mia Stewart, Karla Mccallum, Carter Bruce and Jane Bruce.
Saint John club members Paul Tremblay and Anouk English claimed the top overall titles for male and female skaters respectively. Island speed skaters now see a break in the competitive schedule until January, with the Atlantic All Round Long Track Championships taking place in Halifax early in the New Year. Speed Skate PEI also expects to name its 2015 Canada Winter Games speed skating team before the end of the year.
For full meet results and more information about Speed Skate PEI’s programs, visit the club’s website at www.speedskatepei.com.