October 30th, 2018, Charlottetown – Island speed skaters nabbed fifteen medals at the Atlantic Cup Speed Skating Championships at the Eastlink Centre over the weekend. Speed Skate PEI was playing host to the season’s first event on the Atlantic short track speed skating circuit, which featured 135 competitors from a dozen Atlantic clubs.
Five Islanders earned gold medals, coming up with overall wins in their divisions after four race distances. Zack O’Meara claimed gold in Division 5, Anderson Arseneau in Division 6, Jane Bruce in Division 7, Rio Bevan in Division 9 and Olivia Zhang in Division 10.
P.E.I. coach Sarah Taylor said that the Island team will keep building on the weekend’s results. “Our skaters are showing a lot of progress after their summer training and I think they all know that there are many more gains to be made. It is going to be an exciting season for us and kicking things off on home ice is always fun.”
O’Meara, of Charlottetown, claimed the gold medal with convincing wins in the 1500 metre and 2000 metre points races, along with personal best (“PB”) times in all three of his timed distances. Arseneau posted wins in three of four distances enroute to the gold, with PBs in two distances. Bruce, from Stratford, posted wins in three distances, along with PBs in all four distances to snag gold. Bevan had a pair of wins on the final day of competition, along with PBs in all four distances, to start his season with a gold medal. Zhang made her competitive debut a strong one, with a pair of wins on the final day of competition to secure the gold medal.
Taking silver for P.E.I. were Peter McQuaid (Division 1), Logan Robbins (Division 4), Addison Bruce (Division 5), Charles Burke (Division 7), Ben Kirby (Division 9 male), Una Grant (Division 9 female), Shyanne Goodwin (Division 10 female) and Rey Tao (Division 10 male).
Islanders also picked up five bronze medals, with medalists including Jenna Larter (Division 1), Jordan Koughan (Division 4), Brendan Reynard (Division 7), Tiernan Dewar (Division 9) and Christian Hayden (Division 10).
McQuaid was the top Islander overall with his Division 1 silver medal performance, bouncing back with a pair of wins on the final day after a tough opening day . McQuaid was joined in the top division by seven Island team-mates, including his brother Thomas McQuaid, who earned qualifying times to compete on the Quebec provincial circuit.
Speed Skate PEI vice-president Andrew Jack said that the event was a great success. “We love seeing the hard work by all skaters come to fruition with their results at the Atlantic Cup,” said Jack. “We’re just as heartened by the tremendous efforts and contributions of our volunteer team and sponsors. We couldn’t do it without their support every year.”
Island speed skaters are back on the ice for competitions in Halifax, NS and Lévis, QC in two weeks.
For full Atlantic Cup results and for more information about trying speed skating, visit www.speedskatepei.com.