Kelowna speed skaters Talia Halperin, #59, and Calla Haaheim, #30, made their long track debuts at the BC Long Track Speed Skating Championships on Jan. 26. (Photo: Mong/Smugmug)

Kelowna skaters impress at B.C. championships

The Kelowna Speed Skating Club performed well at the BC Long Track Speed Skating Championships

Young speed skaters hailing from Kelowna put their skills to the test at this year’s BC Long Track Speed Skating Championships.

Four skaters from Kelowna Speed Skating Club came home with winning hardware. Talia Halperin and Calla Haaheim led the way with gold medal wins in their age groups, under-12 and under-13 respectively, at the championships which finished on Jan. 26 in Fort St. John.

“This group is proving that Kelowna skaters can perform and win against those who train full time on a long track,” said KSSC coach Nancy Goplen.

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Coming home with silver medals were Erik Haaheim in the 16-year-old age group and Noah Rubuliak in the under-15 group. Rubuliak and both Haaheims have advanced to compete at the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships in Red Deer starting Feb. 8.

Meanwhile, Halperin will compete locally in short track speed skating.

While Kelowna skaters practice on a 100 metre oval at the Capital News Centre, they’re not used to the 400 metre long tracks when it comes to competition time.

Goplen said that despite the minor training disadvantage, she was impressed with the club’s skaters.

“The skaters have to be really strong technically on the straights and have a decent base of physical conditioning,” she said.

“It also takes some creativity with drills and a being a bit of a stickler for technique. The future remains bright for our skaters.”

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