© submitted photograph
Marc-Andre Doyon from the Moose Jaw Kiwanis Speed Skating Club, front left, takes off from the start during a relay at the Regina Long Track Mini Meet. Doyon’s relay teammates, Connor Johnson, back left, and Molly Morris (also in a yellow helmet) wait for their turn in the relay.
While some of the city’s top speed skaters were at the Canadian Long Track championships in Winnipeg, the next generation of young skaters were gaining valuable experience at the Regina Long Track Mini Meet.
The Moose Jaw Kiwanis Speed Skating Club sent 10 competitors to the meet last Saturday.
“For many of our skaters, this is the first time they raced in long track on a 400-metre oval,” said John Morris, Group 2 coach Kiwanis Speed Skating Club. “They all did very well and showed some great determination.”
While some Moose Jaw skaters won their races — and in some cases won all of their races — Morris suggested that the focus for this past competition was elsewhere. He said that when young skaters are being introduced to speed skating, the focus is on improving technique, learning how to skate just a bit better under some pressure in a race and on earning a better time.
“We had some really young skaters like Erika Shurnaik-Belonio, Jesse Cline, Jaleigh Panko and Kaeleb Tabin who showed great progress in improving technique. We also had some more experienced skaters like Shae DeMarce, Marc-Andre Doyon, Connor Johnson and Jamee Morhart who did the same,” said Morris.
That focus on technique pays off over the longer distances.
“We encourage them to have fun and always improve,” said Morris. “It really shows in the long races — where the most experienced skaters tend to endure the best because of their technique. We had some good performances from Jane Morris in the 3,000 m and by her sister Molly (Morris) in the 2,000.”
The next competition for Moose Jaw skaters will be March 9-10 at the Barkman Arena in Caronport.