Skaters from across the Okanagan headed out to the Shuswap Nov. 24 for the sixth annual Ice Jam, hosted by the Salmon Arm Ice Breakers Speed Skating Club. It was a great day of racing for all, with speed skating clubs attending from Kamloops, Vernon, and Kelowna.
It was a thrilling first competition for some competitors in the youngest division 1 age group, such as Sophie Klapstein of Salmon Arm, who earned bronze in the 100-metre and 200m distances alongside teammate Dylan Bastiaansen, who earned the gold medal. Grant Hudson of Kamloops took home the silver.
In division 2, Kayleigh Roberts (Kamloops) won gold, Allison Hill (Kamloops) took silver and Xander Haaheim (Kelowna) won bronze.
The Ice Jam was an exciting debut for Salmon Arm’s 10-year-old Rachel Martin, who raced 200m, 400m, 500m, and 1,200m distances along with teammates Adriana Bastiaansen, Mackenzie Keating, and Peter Ely, all age nine. Rachel and Peter achieved four personal bests, Mackenzie earned three personal bests and Adriana attained one as well. Lincoln Thurgood, age 10, raced the same distances and achieved fifth place in his division.
In division 3, Keidis Corrigan (Kamloops) took gold, and brothers Sam and Will McDicken (Vernon) earned the silver and bronze spots.
Moving up the age groups to division 4, Adam Turner (Kamloops) took gold Charlie McGinty (Vernon) won silver and Caleb Van Der Merwe took bronze.
In division five, MacKenzie Adams (Kelowna) won gold, Aila Norlin (Salmon Arm) earned silver and Rebecca Thomas (Kamloops) took bronze.
Also in division five, Train to Train skaters from Salmon Arm Nathan Bastiaansen, age 12, alongside teammate Devyn Hughes, age 13, raced the 200m, 400m, 500m, and 1,500m distances. Nathan achieved three personal bests and Aila raced to one personal best and the silver medal in this division.
In the division 6 ‘masters division,’ Kim Klapstein’s (Salmon Arm) excellent racing in the 500m, 777m, 1,000m, 1,500m led him to the gold medal. Jodi Roberts (Kamloops) earned silver and Liliana Buzatu (Kelowna) got the bronze spot.
Winning times and certain personal best times at the Ice Jam allow these skaters to qualify to attend the BC Short Track Championships in March 2019.