February 9th, 2017, Charlottetown – Island Speed Skaters took home eight medals from the Atlantic Canadian Short Track Championship held recently in Dieppe, New Brunswick. The P.E.I. medals included two gold in the competition which boasted more than 180 skaters from 13 clubs across Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Nunavut.
William Lyons of Rock Barra (Division 5) and Zack O’Meara of Charlottetown (Division 10) nabbed gold for the Island team, which included 27 athletes. Lyons took top spot in three of four distances, including a new personal best time in the 400 metre distance to earn his gold. O’Meara, competing in his first off-Island meet, also won three distances and overcame a penalty in one event to earn top honours in his division.
Taking silver medals for P.E.I. were Jenna Larter (Division 2), Thomas McQuaid (Division 5), Mia Stewart (Division 6) and Addison Bruce (Division 8). Bronze medal winners from the Island were Eliana Monthony (Division 2) and Matt Kozma (Division 5). Larter and Monthony finished the Championship ranked second and third overall among all female skaters. Kozma, meanwhile, set a new P.E.I. provincial record for 15 year-old boys, lowering his own mark in the 1500 metre distance.
Andrew McQuaid was the top Islander in Division 1, placing 4th overall, with a 2nd place and a 3rd place finish among his four events. Peter McQuaid, Andrew Binns, Kyle Connell and Rob Binns also represented P.E.I. in the top division. Seamus Smith, representing Fredericton, Tyler MaGee of Saint John and Edouard Dionne of Riviere-du-Loup took the top three spots overall for males, while AbbyGail Jackson of the host Codiac Cyclones was the top female skater.
P.E.I. coach Sarah Taylor said the Atlantic Championship was a good building block for the Island team which is preparing for national level events next month. “We saw some great potential in Dieppe, as well as some things that we can continue to work on. The team should be excited about how good we can be for the rest of this season, if we keep working hard and stay confident,” said Taylor.
For full competition results and more information about Speed Skate PEI programs, visit www.speedskatepei.com.