November 28th, 2017, Charlottetown – P.E.I. speed skaters took full advantage of home ice, racking up twenty medals and eight new provincial record times at the Atlantic Cup Speed Skating Championships, held at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown over the weekend.
Charlottetown’s Peter McQuaid led the way for the Island team, sweeping his way to the gold medal for males in Division 1 with four convincing victories. Jenna Larter of Brookfield took the Division 1 gold for females, while also putting her name on a new provincial record for Junior women in the 1500 metre distance. Larter shaved nearly a second from the previous mark set by Ellen Burnett during the 2011 Canada Winter Games. She also earned qualifying times for the Canadian Junior Open Selections #2 competition in March as well as for Quebec’s provincial short track circuit.
Other P.E.I. gold medalists included Carter Bruce (Division 2), Andrew Binns (Division 3), Julian Christy (Division 6), Charles Burke (Division 7), Brendan Reynard (Division 8), Jacob Taylor (Division 10 male) and Una Grant (Division 10 female).
Taking silver for P.E.I. were Kyle Connell (Division 3), Anderson Arseneau (Division 5), Saul Grant (Division 8), Rio Bevan (Division 10 male) and Ava Reynolds (Division 10 female).
Bronze medal winners hailing from the Island were Matthew McKenna (Division 2), William Lyons (Division 3), Holly Nickerson (Division 7), Sophia Erdogan (Division 8), Prince Wang (Division 9) and Ben Kirby (Division 10).
P.E.I. coach Sarah Taylor said the Island team’s haul of twenty medals was icing on the cake after seeing so many strong performances from the team’s 35 skaters. “The number of personal best times, medals and provincial records was astounding. These young athletes love working hard with their teammates and our program only seems to grow and get stronger as a result. We’re competitive with anyone now and it is a lot of fun for our team.”
In addition to Larter’s new provincial record, Andrew Binns, Kyle Connell and William Lyons carved their names in a total of seven new provincial marks, as the trio swept the Division 3 podium. Binns, of Stratford, notched new records in the 200m, 400m and 1500m distances for 14 year-old boys, while Connell, of Charlottetown, duplicated that for 15 year-old boys. Lyons set a new provincial standard for 13 year-old boys in the 1500m distance.
The meet saw a strong field of 140 skaters take to the start line, with athletes from five provinces as well as from the United States.
Speed Skate PEI President Jenn Nickerson said that the event was a huge success. “It was great to see the results of our skaters match the tremendous efforts and contributions of our volunteer team and sponsors. We’re very thankful for the support this event receives every year,” said Nickerson.
Island speed skaters are back on the ice for the Charles Gorman Memorial Championship at Saint John’s Harbour Station this weekend.
For full Atlantic Cup results and more information about upcoming opportunities to try speed skating, visit www.speedskatepei.com.