Moyse wins third straight western title

Matthew Gourlie
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Local speed skaters finish off year with strong showings

The local speed skating season ended with flourish.

Members of the Moose Jaw Kiwanis Speed Skating Club hold up a Saskatchewan flag at the recent Train to Train Canada West Championships after meeting Regina-born Olympian Kali Christ. Pictured are: Alex Fish, top, provincial coach Tim Comfort back left, Oliva Moyse, Christ, Graeme Fish, Regina's Brianne Cipywnyk, bottom left, Gabrielle Sanson, Saskatoon's Marco Schumann and Moose Jaw coach Verna Kergan.

The Moose Jaw Kiwanis Speed Skating Club sent five competitors to the Canada West Championships and 18 competitors to Sask Marquee Short Track competition in Regina as they concluded their year with a pair of short track meets.

In Lethbridge, Olivia Moyse won her third consecutive overall title at the Train to Train Canada West Championships.

Moyse won all four of her races to finish first overall in the age category. Moyse is 14, but will soon start to progress to national-level competitions.

"She's still pretty young," said local coach Verna Kergan. "Her next step will be trying to make the Saskatchewan Canada Games team."

The Canada Winter Games will feature skaters who are between the ages of 14 and 19. The Games will be held in Prince George, B.C. in Feburary of 2015.

The provincial team for the Canada Winter Games will feature four male and four female long-track skaters and five male and five female competitors on the short track team.

"We have some really good hopefuls from our club," said Kergan.

Gabrielle Sanson battled through a back injury and won silver medals in the 200-metre and the 1,500m and a bronze in the 400m. Teammate Jane Morris finished 12th among 12 year old girls.  

"Gabrielle had a back injury that she sustained in a meet and we're working on that right now and getting her back to where she needs to be," said Kergan.

Graeme Fish won three silver medals in the 15 year old male category in Lethbridge. It has been a good year for the now 16-year-old.

"He's ranked quite high in the 5,000m in Canada in long track. He's done very well in the 5,000," said Kergan. "He's already started to do the Canada Cups, which are the ranking meets."

Alex Fish finished sixth overall amongst 14 year old males.

The Fish brothers joined with Marco Schumann of Saskatoon to win gold in the senior boys relay for Team Saskatchewan.

The following weekend a range of skaters took part in the Sask Marquee Short Track competition in Regina. They ranged from Active Start skaters like 5 year old Kharma and Kayden Cletheroe to Train to Train aged skaters like Sophie Grajczyk.  

Moyse, Ryder Viczko, Jaleigh Panko and Marc André Doyon and  all took home gold medals in their respective groups.  

Alex Fish finished with a silver medal, while Isabella Grajczyk and Connor Johnson finished fourth in their groups after strong performances.

"Our skaters had fun and improved immensely." said local novice coach John Morris. "We saw most get personal best times such as Hunter Viczko and Molly Morris, while others emerged from the meet better at the fun stuff in short track like passing and drafting.

"I was particularly proud of some of the newest skaters such as Kaeleb Tabin, Erika Shurnaik Belonio and her sister Rebekah who really blossomed with their technique in their races."

Though the season is over, some of the older local skaters will take advantage of some ice time in Calgary at the Olympic Oval.

"There's a number of training opportunities and there are some camps in Calgary," said Kergan.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Kiwanis Speed Skating Club, Saskatchewan Canada Games, Canada Cups Olympic Oval

Geographic location: Canada, Regina, Lethbridge Prince George Calgary Saskatoon

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