June 5, 2019, Charlottetown – Speed Skate PEI members gathered in Charlottetown recently, to celebrate a successful year and to recognize award winners for the 2018-19 season.
Jenna Larter of Brookfield was named the top female athlete, while Peter McQuaid of Charlottetown and Andrew Binns of Stratford shared the top male athlete honours.
Larter took home the Nancy White award as the top female athlete for a second consecutive year, after a stellar season which included the best 500 metre time ever skated by an Island female short track skater. Larter’s record performance came at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta., where she grabbed 12th place in the 500 metre event and 13th overall in the 46 skater female field. The Brookfield native followed that with a 5th place finish in the 500 metre distance at the Canadian Junior Selections event in Sherbrooke to cap her exceptional season, which also included a new P.E.I. record time for Intermediate women in the 1500-metre distance.
McQuaid was also a second time winner of the top male athlete award, repeating from 2018, while Binns had won it twice previously, in 2016 and in 2017. The pair were key members of the P.E.I. men’s relay team at the Canada Winter Games, where P.E.I. grabbed fifth place, while skating the third fastest time among the ten provinces and territories competing.
McQuaid posted the top individual finishes among P.E.I. males at the Canada Winter Games and moved up to second spot on the all-time list of fastest times by a P.E.I. male skater in both the 1000- and 1500-metre distances. Binns re-wrote the P.E.I. record book for Junior men (14-15 years-old), with new records in the 500-, 1000- and 1500-metre distances. The Stratford skater finished the season as the 4th ranked 15-year-old skater in the country.
William Lyons of Rock Barra won the Rising Star award, after winning a silver medal at the Canada East Short Track Championships in Campbellton, New Brunswick. Lyons also had a pair of top-25 finishes in the 54 skater field at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer and was the second-highest ranked male skater from P.E.I. in the overall standings at the Games.
Anderson Arseneau and Jane Bruce were named top male and top female skaters, respectively, in the Intermediate speed skating group, while Charles Burke was awarded the Rising Star honours for the same group.
In the Learn to Speed Skate program, Rey Tao picked up top male skater honours, while Emily Shi was named top female skater. Kohl Dallaire won the Rising Star award, while Isabel Burns was named most improved skater in the program.
The President’s Award was awarded to Shirliana Bruce, who was recognized for her significant contributions as Speed Skate PEI’s registrar and secretary for the past several years.
Mia Stewart and Matt Kozma were named winners of the volunteer award of excellence, in recognition of their efforts with the Learn to Skate program. Jenna Larter won the Sarah Taylor mentorship award in recognition of her contributions to coaching and mentoring of younger skaters.
Certificates were presented to skaters who set new provincial records in their respective age categories during the year. New short track records were set by Jenna Larter (Intermediate women – 500m and 1500m), Andrew Binns (Junior men – 500m, 1000m and 1500m), Kyle Connell (Intermediate Men – 1000m), Jane Bruce (11 year-old girls – 400m) and Rob Binns (Masters men 40-49 years – 500m and 777m). A new provincial men’s 3000m relay record was also established by a team consisting of Peter McQuaid, Andrew Binns, Kyle Connell and Thomas McQuaid.
On the long track, Matthew McKenna was recognized for his new record for Intermediate men, in the outdoor Olympic Style 1000 metre event.
Information on Speed Skate P.E.I. and its programs can be found on the club’s website at www.speedskatepei.com.