P.E.I.’s short-track speed skaters kicked off 2013 in strong fashion at the Atlantic circuit’s first meet of the New Year.
Twelve of the 19 Island skaters won medals at the Charles Gorman Memorial Speed Skating Championships in Saint John, N.B.
Winning gold medals were Michael Rogers and Carly Connell in division five, Miriam Burnett in division six, Eliana Monthony in division nine, Sarah Taylor in sport class and Rob Binns in the masters division.
“P.E.I. skaters accomplished many technical and strategic racing goals at this meet,” said coach Phil Byrne. “All of our skaters came to race and were focused on being competitive in their races‚ not only on personal best times. That’s exactly how I want them racing this time of the year and from my perspective, every one of our skaters was successful.”
For Connell, a former Canadian age class champion, the win marked her second gold and third medal in as many meets this season. Burnett also pushed her season total to three medals in three events, while Monthony, of Cornwall, claimed her first gold medal after missing much of last season due to injury.
Jesse Francis, Korrina LeClair, Samuel Ryan and Kristen Binns captured silver medals for P.E.I.
For Francis, competing in the sport class, the event marked his first meet since competing at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. LeClair showed some of her best skating, rounding back into form after an early season injury. Ryan posted significant personal bests to earn the medal at his first out-of-province meet and Kristen Binns, of Stratford, also ran her medal streak to three meets.
Zach Moran and Andrew McQuaid took home bronze to round out P.E.I.’s medal haul. Moran’s division five bronze, despite a penalty in one distance, was a strong follow-up to his prior competition in Fredericton, where he finished as the top P.E.I. skater.
McQuaid posted a pair of strong personal best times to bring home the bronze in division six. Adrian Monthony was the fastest Island skater with a sixth-place finish in the top division, despite a fall in his 500-metre sprint final. Monthony racked up new personal best times in each of his timed distances during the weekend.
Other P.E.I. skaters competing were Jared Vriends, Peter McQuaid, Andrew Binns, Thomas McQuaid, Michael Trotter and Ben Keizer.
Nearly 150 skaters from eight clubs competed in the event, which attracted skaters from all three Maritime provinces.
P.E.I. skaters are looking ahead to short track events in New Brunswick and the Atlantic Long Track Championships in Halifax at the end of January.
Speed Skate P.E.I. operates at the Charlottetown Civic Centre and still has openings for experienced skaters from any skating sport for the current season.
Full meet results and more information can be found on the club’s website at www.speedskatepei.com.