Neykov advances to nationals

Kelowna Speed Skating Club’s Chris Neykov will make his first appearance at the Canada Age Class Long Track Championship this weekend in Winnipeg.

Kelowna Speed Skating Club’s Chris Neykov will make his first appearance at the Canada Age Class Long Track Championship this weekend in Winnipeg.

The Rutland Secondary student was recently crowned the B.C. champion in the boys U-15 category

“Chris is a natural sprinter and will do well against the top under 15-year-olds in the country,” regional coach Nancy Goplen.

Meanwhile, Cameron Bennett, Alison Bennett and Keara Maguire braved the snow and extreme cold temperatures last weekend in Winnipeg during the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships and the Canada Cup.

Bennett, racing in his first championship finished 25th overall in a field of 45 skaters. After three distances, Banwell was ranked 15th overall.

She had to withdraw from the last distance due to an illness so did not get an over-all ranking.

Keara Maguire who trains and goes to University in Calgary, raced to an eighth place finish in the 1,500m and fifth in the 3,000m. Canadian skaters not competing in the World Cup were competing in Winnipeg. Placings in the Canada Cups are used for qualification to the 2011-12 national team. Maguire was recently named to the National Talent Squad, one step below the National Development Team.

Maguire will be competing in the North American Long Track Championships this weekend in Milwaukee while Banwell prepares for the upcoming Canada Winter Games in Halifax. Bennett will rejoin the other Kelowna skaters for a short track event in Vernon and also prepare for the final Canada Cup Long Track in mid-March in Calgary. N

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