March 8, 2010
A small contingent of Puget Sound skaters made their way to Wausau, WI., for the U.S. National Age Class Championships - Saree Han was competing in the Pony girls group, Aaron Tran skated with the Midget boys, Edwin Park participated in the Junior Mens class and Jan Zurcher, skating in the Masters 50-59 age class rounded out the group. When all was said and done on Sunday afternoon, our club had claimed a National Championship (Saree), 4 new national records (Saree) and three 2nd place overall finishes.
Saree's first event was the semi-final for the 333 m. distance. In her first race, Saree bested the national record with a time of 00:35.525 - a little more than 3/10ths of a second better than the record set last season. In the final for this distance, however, Saree found herself behind Maame Biney as she crossed the finish line. She had claimed her first medal - a silver - but she was hoping to win the overall championship and knew that she would have to skate hard in the next races to meet her goal. Next came the 500 m. distance. Saree easily qualified for the final finishing nearly 3 seconds ahead of the second place qualifier in her semi-final. In the final, Saree skated a strong race, finishing first in a time of 00:51.676. This was faster than the existing record of 00:53.530 by nearly 2 seconds. To put this in perspective, this time was faster than the 500 m. times skated in the finals by most of the Junior and Intermediate ladies - skaters aged 14 - 17 as opposed to Saree's skating age of 10. Saree and Maame were now tied in points for the overall championship. Going into the 222 m. race, Saree was nervous. However, she easily made it through the preliminary round and found herself standing on the starting line right next to Maame. The girls challenged each other in the quick 2 lap race with Saree crossing the finish line first with another gold medal, first place points and another new record (24.109 as compared to the old mark of 24.871 set by Andrea Chung last year). The final race of the competition was the 777 held on Sunday. Saree and Maame both made it to the finals. If Maame won this race, she and Saree would be tied on points but Maame would win the overall championship because of a rule that says that in the event of a tie in points, the winner of the longest distance wins the overall championship. Saree and Maame had a great race with Saree taking and holding the lead throughout the race. However, as she tired toward the end of the 6th lap, Maame came close to overtaking her. Then the bell rang signifying the girls were on their last lap. Saree dug deep and retained her lead to cross the line just 3/10s of a second ahead of Maame to claim her 3rd gold medal, her fourth record (Saree skated the distance in 01:21.791 vs. the former mark of 01:24.918) and the overall championship. Awesome job, Saree!
Aaron, coming off great success at long track nationals, was looking forward to similar results at short track nationals. There were 21 boys entered in the Midget class, so this meant skating two qualifying rounds to make it to the finals. The first distance was the 777 m. race - 7 laps around the track. Aaron made it through both the quarter finals and the semis to skate in his first final of the competition. He skated extremely well and came in second behind a skating dynamo from Virginia named Thomas Hong. Thomas, a 12 year old skater, has been skating for over 8 years and has the technique and speed of a much older skater. Aaron completed the distance in a time of 01:15.308 - a time faster than the existing record of 1:15.751 set by another skating phenom at the U.S. Short Track Nationals in 2008 - John-Henry Krueger who, this season, represented the U.S. at the World Junior Championships as a member of the Junior National team. Given that Aaron is skating times faster than John-Henry skated as a Midget boy, the skating future looks bright for Aaron. The second distance for the Midget boys was the 500 m. Aaron made it through the quarter finals but his semi-final was wrought with strange happenings. In an earlier race, when a skater fell and did not get up quickly the race was stopped. In Aaron's race, a skater fell and did not get up because his skate got caught in the protective mats covering the rink boards. A track steward went to help the stuck skater and two of the boys heard someone tell them to stop, so they slowed down. However, some of the other skaters, recognizing that the referee had not told them to stop kept racing. Aaron was now in the middle of a pack. He started to pick up speed and clashed skates with a boy beside him. He raced away to catch up and caught the pack on the next corner and made a pass into third place. Unfortunately, the boy whom he had passed fell down and Aaron was disqualified for impeding. He would not be going on to the final in this distance. The third distance for the Midget boys was 333 m. Aaron made it to the final without incident. This time, he finished very close on Thomas' heels which surprised everyone including Thomas who is used to dominating the competition. Aaron finished with a time of 00:32.125 - again, a time faster than the existing record (00:32.726) held by John-Henry Krueger. The final race was 1000 m. Off the line, Aaron and another skater clashed skates and the race was recalled to the starting line. When Aaron took off from the line, his skate blade felt funny and he was having trouble skating but he tried to put that out of his mind, accelerated and caught back up to and passed the pack. He chased Thomas for the remainder of the race. Again, the finish saw Thomas cross the line first with Aaron in 2nd place with a time of 01:47.320. Aaron claimed 3 silver medals and accumulated enough points to finish 2nd overall. In addition, his times bested national records in two of the four distances he skated. Great skating, Aaron!
Because we come from the west coast and Edwin has not competed in some of the higher profile competitions for skaters his age, Edwin was a bit of an unknown to the other skaters coming into this competition but he made his presence known with a vengenge. In the first race, the 1500 m. distance, Edwin skated in the 2nd seni-final and claimed the 3rd qualifying position. In the final, Edwin skated most of the race on the outside of the pack - sometimes close to the front, sometimes close to the back - but mostly on the outside being unable to find his way into the pack. On the last lap, it looked like Edwin was going to be out of the medals when he cranked up the gears and passed most of the pack on the outside to push his skate across the line in first place with a time of 02:30.254 - just 11/100ths of a second ahead of the second place finisher. He had a gold medal and those all important first place points. In the 500 m. distance, Edwin skated a stong race and claimed the 2nd qualifying position. Unfortunately, in the semi-final, he had a bit of bad luck. He ended up going a bit wide on the final turn and was nosed out at the finish line for the 2nd qualifying position. His best time in the two qualifying events was 00:45.796 which actually was the third fastest time for this age group in all of the rounds (including the final). Unfortunately, if you don't make it to the final, you don't get championship points. Edwin now had a bit of an uphill battle in his drive for the overall championship medal. This was important to him because the top finisher in the age group automatically gets a Category 1 classification and all of the perks (such as invitations to special training camps, a U.S. speedskating racing suit, etc.) that go with it. Edwin skated well in the next distance - the 1000 m. race - and made it to the final. Again, the skaters had a very close battle to the finish line. This time, however, it was Edwin who was inched out at the finish, missing 2nd place by 7/1000s of a second and just 1/10th of a second out of first place. However, a bronze medal was his. The final event for this age class was the grueling 3,000 m. distance - 27 laps around the track. This was skated as a super final - that is, only the top 8 skaters (or those with points), get to skate this race. Six Junior men stood at the start of the race. When the gun went off, the skaters started but V-E-R-Y slowly. Edwin led the pack at a leisurely pace for close to 9 laps and then dropped to the back of the pack. The next skater to lead followed Edwin's suit and continued with the slow pace. The race did not really start to heat up until there were about 8 laps to go. Edwin was mainly at the back of the pack. But, again, right at the end, he hiked himself into high gear and made a sweeping outside pass around all of the other skaters to claim first place in a time of 05:24.116 - just 2/10ths of a second ahead of the next skater. Edwin had his 2nd gold medal of the competition. He finished with 2 gold medals and 1 bronze medal. Unfortunately, because he did not pick up any points in the 500 m. distance and but for a finish in the 1000 m. race that was not8/1000s faster, Edwin finished in 2nd place in the overall championship points - by a mere 3 points! Edwin, you skated amazingly well. Congratulations!
Jan skated in the Masters 50-59 class which, for racing purposes, was combined with the 60-69 class featuring the phenomenal Carole Moore. The Masters skaters were relegated to skating prior to the other skaters even showing up at the rink for their warm-ups, so they were at the rink at 6:15 a.m. and finished their racing day by 9:30 a.m. The competition began with the 1000 m. distance. Jan came second to Karen Verrone with a time of 02:919 - less than 6/10ths of a second behind. While not a personal best, this was faster than Jan has skated the distance in a couple of years. It was also the 3rd fastest time posted by any of the master ladies skaters (age classes 30 through 69), so was a satisfying result. In the 777 m. distance, Jan did not keep up with Karen as well as she would have liked and finished in a time of 01:34.389. Again, not a personal best but comparable with recent results. Saturday morning saw the masters back on the ice early once again to finish out their last two distances. Jan was hoping to do well in the 500 m. but intended to focus on skating more technically well - shoulders down, hips tucked in, etc. She finished well behind Karen with a time of 01:00.716 - a bit of a disappointing time. However, again, it was the 3rd fastest time posted by any of the ladies skating in the competition. The final distance was the 1500 m. superfinal. Jan skated close to Karen for the entire race but could not find the acceleration to pass, so finished in 2nd place again with a time of 03:05.177 (a personal best) just 1/10th of a second behind and again, the 3rd fastest time of all of the ladies.. In all, Jan claimed 4 silver medals and 2nd place overall.
February 16, 2010
With the new format, it is often difficult to tell how well you are doing against your peers while you are racing. This was even more complicated by the fact that the North American Competition was combined with American Cup #3. However, Edwin was pleased with his results in Utah; and, in the end, based on samalog points, Edwin finished in 8th place overall in the Junior B boys all around group. He was the 2nd ranked U.S. skater. Nathan Tomkinson was the topped ranked U.S. skater finishing in 2nd place overall behind a Canadian skater. Places 3 through 7 all went to Canadian skaters.
In the first distance - the 500 m. - Edwin finished with the 5th fastest time of all the competitors in his group. He crossed the line in 39.48 which is a personal best time for him. He was the second fastest U.S. skater finishing just 2/100s of a second behind Luke Tweddale. The second distance of the competition was the 3000 m race. Edwin finished in 10th place overall with a time of 4:20.35. Again, he was the 2nd fastest U.S. skater with Nathan being the only U.S. skater that finished with a faster time. In the 1500 m. distance, Edwin clocked the 11th fastest time in his group - 2:03.42. This time, he was the 3rd fastest U.S. skater - Nathan and Luke placed 5th and 6th respectively. The final distance was the long and gruelling 5000 m. distance. Edwin crossed the finish line in 7:40.48 for a 9th place finish overall. Again, that time was the 2nd fastest for any U.S. skater. The only U.S. skater to finish ahead of Edwin was Nathan who posted the 2nd fastest time in the competition. Given that this is the first time that Edwin has ever skated a 5000 m. race, he had an amazing finish time.
Edwin also chose to skate the Sprint Competition (comprised of two 500 m. races and two 1000 m. races). In the first 500 m. distance and the first 1000 m. distance, Edwin finished in 4th place overall in the Junior B class with times of 00:39.48 and 01:18.44 respectively. The second time at each of the distances was a bit slower - 40.07 and 01:19.12 - but still great results after a long weekend of skating. Edwin's combined times (samalog points) placed him in 5th place overall in the sprint competition and the 2nd ranked skater for the U.S. Connor Slivocka was the top ranked American skater in this class.
Congratulations, Edwin! Well done.
February 12, 2010
Edwin Park will be the only skater from our club who will participate in the North American Long Track Age Class Speedskating Championships. The competition will be held on the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City this coming weekend. Good luck Edwin!
February 12, 2010
Jan returned home from Milwaukee and the World Master Sprints on Monday, February 8, 2010, with a second place trophy in hand and a cold/flu that would keep her down for the next several days. Feeling the effect of the cold during the races, Jan did not post the kind of times she would have liked at the event but still came out in second place in her age class behind Silvia Tessaro of Italy. Third place went to a Canadian from Ontario.
The first race was one of the 500 m. distances. Jan had the outer lane paired against Silvia. She was hoping for a good race. She and Silvia raced against each other in Calgary a couple of years ago and were very close. Unfortunately, Jan was not feeling comfortable at the start and did not get off the line very quickly. With little energy and no zip in her step, she was unable to keep pace with Silvia and finished in a time of 0:53.01 - not a great time for indoor ice. The second distance was the first of the two 1000 m. races. Jan was on the inner lane this time and paired with a much slower skater, so had no one to pace against. She crossed the finish line in 1:45.53 - well ahead of her pair but still only good enough for second place in the class (about 2 seconds - or 20 m. behind Sivia's results). On Sunday, the skaters skated the same distances again. Starting with the 500 m. (in which Jan was paired with a skater from a younger age class) Jan got off to a much better start in this race but still lacked the energy to skate well. She did manage to finish first of the pair and the time was fast enough to hold her place in her age class. She finished this second 500 m. attempt in a time of 0:52.90 - again, a 2nd place finish. Starting to be beaten down by the on-coming cold, the 2nd 1000 m. race was a disappointment - a time of 1:46.75 - again, only good enough for 2nd place and well behind the time posted by the first place finisher.
February 11, 2010
The KOMO 4 TV News story appeared last evening. If you missed it, you can see it at this link:
February 9, 2010
Look for Puget Sound Speedskaters on the KOMO 4 TV news between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.
February 4, 2010
Just 4 days after returning from the U.S. National Long Track Age Class Championships, Jan will be heading back to the mid-west to participate in the Masters World Sprint races. This event attracts skaters from around the world to challenge for the title of World Sprint Champion in their age classes. At this event, which is held under ISU rules, the Masters classes are in 5 year age groups. Jan will skate in the 55-59 age group. A sprint championship involves skating 4 sprint distances - two 500 m. races and two 1000 m. races - all skated olympic style (that is, only two skaters on the ice at a time with each skater in his/her own lane). The winner of the world championship is the skater with the lowest total time for all 4 distances.
February 3, 2010
Puget Sound claims 3 National Championships, three second places, a 3rd place and a 4th place. On his way to winning the championship, Aaron set 4 new National records for his age class; Saree set new records for Pony girls in all 5 distances! Congratulations skaters and thank you Coach Lee for all your effort to help us hone our long-track skills.
Saree Han dominated the Pony girls class, winning every distance by a wide margin. In most of the races, Puget Sound skater, Allie DiNardo crossed the line in second place. Starting with the 500 m. distance, Saree crossed the line in a blistering time of 0:50.790 - claiming her first national record. Allie was second with a time of 54.530 - about 1.5 seconds ahead of the 3rd place finisher. The second distance for this age group was the shortest one - 1/2 lap or 200 m. Saree hit the finish line first with a time of 0:21.752 - a second National record went to Saree; Allie crossed in 2nd place in a time of 0:23.840 - about 1 second in front of the 3rd place finisher. The third distance was the 400 m. race - 1 time around the track. Once again, Saree dominated the field, claiming another record in a time of 0:42.017. Allie was 2nd with a time of 0:45.240 - again a full second ahead of the 3rd place finisher. The 4th distance was the 300 m. sprint. Saree finished in 1st with a record breaking time of 0:30.930. This time, however, Allie was nosed out of 2nd place by a skater from the Badger club. Allie finished in 3rd place with a time of 0:34.790 - just 8/100s of a second behind. The final race was the longest for the Ponies - 600 m. Again, Saree showed her great speed finishing in 1st place with a time of 1:02.610. For Allie, the race was a disaster, she fell in the 2nd corner and slid into the mats. With tears of frustration and disappointment streaming her face, she got up and finished the race in 6th place. She was devasted thinking that she had lost her 2nd place overall finish. But, when the points were totalled up, she finished in 2nd place overall. Saree claimed the championship medal for the Pony Girls class for 2010 and 5 gold medals. Allie came away with 3 silver medals and a bronze. Well done, girls!
Kai DiNardo was our only entry in the Pony Boys class. This was a large class which meant that Kai had to skate semi-finals to qualify for the medal round in each distance. In the 500 m. race, Kai claimed a qualifying spot in the final by placing 2nd in his semi-final. In the final, he claimed the bronze medal with a time of 0:56.460. The Pony Boys tackled the shortest race next - the 200 m. Kai claimed a qualifying spot in the semi-final and moved on to the final where he finished in 5th place with a time of 0:24.560 - just 1/10th of a second out of the medals but claiming valuable points for the overall title. The last race on Saturday for the boys was the 1 lap race. Kai qualified for the final easily and finished in the final with a time of 0:46.650 to claim 4th place and an Iron medal. Going into the second day of competition, Kai was tied for 3rd place overall on points. The first race on Sunday sealed Kai's fate. In the 300 m. seni-final, he missed a qualifying position by 7/100th of a second and would not earn any points for the distance. Undiscouraged, Kai skated a great final set of races. He claimed the last qualifying position in the semi-final despite a fall and in the final came within 6/100ths of a second of the bronze medal. In the end, Kai finished in 4th place overall and took home 3 medals - 1 bronze and 2 Iron. The good news is that Kai still has another year to skate in the Pony Boys age class. He'll be ready in 2011.
One of our Midget boys - Aaron Tran - were the talk of the competition. Aaron has such amazing technique and just flew down the ice - dominating the races in every distance except one... the 500 m. which had a surprise start. Aaron was standing at the start line prior to the race but did not know that he should have his jacket off before he was called to the line. Then, to make matters worse, when he tried to get his jacket off, his glove got caught and it took him some time to get to the line. He was given a false start. Then, for reasons, unexplained, he was ordered off the start line and he had to stand and watch as the first race started without him. Isaiah was also representing our club in this semi-final and he blasted off the line to finish in 1st place in his semi-final and qualify for the final. Isaiah finished first in the 500 m. final with a time of 0:50.730 in a photo finish with two other skaters - less than 2/10s of a second separated the top 4 finishers. The situation changed greatly in the next race. Undaunted by his disqualification in the 500 m., Aaron was a boy on a mission. In the semi-final of the 400 m. race, Aaron finished nearly 4 full seconds ahead of the next finisher (Isaiah) with a record breaking time and in the final skated to first place and a National record in a time of 0:36.429 (breaking his record from the semi-final). Spectators were agog at the technique of this kid from a short track club who had never skated on a long track prior to arriving in Roseville two days before. It was truly amazing to watch the almost perfect form. Unfortunately, Isaiah did not have a very good race and finished out of the medals in 5th place. In the 600 m. distance, Aaron and Isaiah were in the same semi-final and claimed the top 2 qualifying positions. In the final, Aaron again skated away from the pack and finished the 1.5 laps in a time of 0:54.566. Isaiah finished in 2nd place with a time of 0:58.980 - about 1/2 second ahead of the next two boys who tied for 3rd. Aaron smashed the existing record for this distance as well. The question people were asking was: If he can skate 600 m. in 0:54, how fast could he skate the 500 m. distance? At the end of the first day of racing, the Puget Sound skaters were in great positions. Even with the disqualification and earning no points in the first distance, Aaron was in 1st place on points (68) and Isaiah was second (60 points). Sunday morning started with the boys skating a semi-final in the shortest race for this age group - the 300 m. This time, Aaron and Isaiah were in different qualifying rounds. Aaron qualified in 1st position and Isaiah took the second qualifying spot in his semi-final. The final saw Aaron take the win with a time of 0:28.532 and another National Record. Unfortunately, Isaiah finished in last spot in the final although he was close - there was only about a total of one second between the 2nd and 6th place finish. In the final race - the 800 m., Aaron continued his record smashing ways. Both Aaron and Isaiah made it through the preliminary rounds and stood on the start line of the final together. As in the other races, Aaron took off and dominated the track. He finished in a record breaking time of 1:14.089 - a full 5 seconds ahead of 2nd place. Isaiah took the bronze medal in a time of 01:19.660 - missing silver by just 3/10ths of a second. Had he been able to finish 2nd in this race, he would have finished in 2nd place overall behind Aaron. In the end, Aaron claimed 4 gold medals, 4 National records and the overall National Championship for Midget Boys. Isaiah took home 1 gold medal, 1 silver and 1 bronze and a 3rd place finish overall. Good job!
This year, Clare Jeong moved up to the Juvenile Girls class. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of challengers in this class this year, so the girls only got to skate each distance once and it was a final - which meant no room for error. The Juvenile girls skate 5 distances - 500 m., 800 m., 1000 m., 300 m. and 1500 m. In each event, Clare led for most of the race while Shelby Comeau drafted behind her and then pulled out after the last corner for the pass. In each case, these two girls had very close finishes and were well ahead of the rest of the pack. In the 500 m. race, Clare finished with a time of 0;48.440 - 4/100s of a second behind Shelby. In the 800 m. distance, the margin was about the same - Clare finished in 1:21.820 to Shelby's 1:21.767. In the 1000 m., Clare led most of the way and finished in a time of 1:34.780. This time Shelby crossed the line about 6/10ths of a second ahead. In the 300 m. race, Clare crossed the line just after Shelby in a time of 0:29.770. The frustration continued in the final race as Clare led for much of the 1500 m. distance but could not hold Shelby off in the end. She finished with a time of 2:31.340. Despite her disappointment, Clare skated very strong races and finished in 2nd place in the country claiming 5 silver medals AND she has another year to skate in this age class. Congratulations, Clare. This was a great finish.
Edwin Park skates in the Junior boys class this year. Again, the number of participants was small, so there were only finals in each distance. Edwin's experience was much like Clare's - at the end of each race, he found himself in 2nd place behind Nathan Tomkinson. The first race was the 1000 m. Edwin finished in 2nd place with a strong time of 1:26.880 - 1/100th of a second behind Nathan. The 800 m. race was also a close finish with Nathan just edging out the win. Edwin finished with a time of 1:10.540. Next came the the 1500 m. race. Again, Nathan crossed the line just in front of Edwin who finished with a time of 2:28.250 - about 3/10ths of a second after Nathan. by the end of the day, Edwin had a lock on 2nd place but he was frustrated with not being about to take a win. On Sunday morning, he was determined to change that. When the gun went off at the start of the 500 m. race, Edwin took advantage of his strong start and surged into the lead. At the finish line, he was still in front and took his first gold medal of the competition completing the 1 and 1/4 laps in 0:42.930 with Nathan about 1 second behind. The final race for the Junior Boys is a 3000 m. distance - 7.5 laps around the track. The wind was picking up and Edwin did not have the experience to keep up with Nathan. He finished well back but still in 2nd place with a time of 4:44.710. In all, Edwin brought home 1 gold medal (500 m.) and 4 silver medals and was 2nd in the country for his age class.
Jan skated in the Masters III class (ages 50-59) which turned out to be the most hotly contested class of all the masters (and of much of the competition). Jan was just glad to be able to skate at all. After the Wednesday night practice, she suffered a severe muscle cramp in her left leg which remained painful to the touch through all of Friday. However, by Saturday, although it was touchy, she was able to skate. Because there were very few masters ladies, the Masters II class and the Masters IV class were combined with Jan's class for the races. The first race was the 1000 m. distance and Jan made a tactical error by leading more of the distance than she should have and waiting too late for the final move to pass. As a result, she finished in 2nd place with a time of 1:50.02 - about 12/100ths of a second behind. So close that neither skater knew who had won. The 800 m. distance was next with Jan taking first place in a time of 1:25.03. Surprisingly, the time margin was another 12/100ths of a second. The third race of the day was the first of two 1500 m. This race was won by a strong skater from the East Coast. Unfortunately, Jan finished in 3rd place with a time of 2:44.850. The points were close. Each of the top 3 skaters had 1 win. In the other two races, Jan had a 2nd and 3rd; Karen had two 2nds; and, Kathy had two 3rds. Jan was behind Karen for top spot by 8 points. To win the Championship, Jan would have to claim at least a win in one of the final two races and a second in the other. On Sunday morning, the first race was the sprint - 500 m. Jan was ready at the start line when the gun sounded and she sped off. At the end of the race, Jan had claimed 1st place with a time of 0:53.620 - finishing about 1.5 seconds ahead of the next place finisher. Now it came down to the finish in the last race - a second crack at that 1500 m. distance. If Jan could finish 2nd or better, she would claim the championship. The start was intense. Jan pulled the first part of the race and then pulled out to let someone else lead for a bit. Luckily, she was able to pull back in in second place behind Kathy. And that's the way the race finished. Kathy finished in 1st place, Jan took second with a time of 2:51.570 and Karen was just a slim 13/100s behind for 3rd place. Jan had won the National Championship by a very slim margin indeed! Congratulations to Kathy and Karen on skating some great races. It was a lot of fun. Also, congratulations to Carole Moore who moved into the Master IV class this year and set 4 new National records for that age class.
January 29, 2010
Little did they know what they were getting into. When the skaters from the Pacific Northwest arrived at the outdoor Roseville Oval on Wednesday afternoon, they were faced with temperatures around 5 degrees Farenheit and a wind from the North. When they hit the ice for the second practice after 9:00 p.m. and the sun had gone down, it felt even colder. But they were enthusiatic and focused in their practice as they tried to adapt to the larger track.
January 26, 2010
Ice time changes:
There will be no skating practices from Wednesday, January 27, 2010, through Sunday, January 31, 2010. The next ice session will be on Tuesday, February 2, 2010. Why?
Because on Wednesday, eight skaters will head off to the colder climes of Roseville, MN, to represent the Pacific Northwest at the U.S. National Age Class Long Track Speedskating Championships. These races are skated pack style and allow the best skaters from across the country to challenge each other in a 5 distance, total points competition. Age classes for younger skaters are in two year spans and for masters, they are in 10 year spans. Saree Han and Allie DiNardo will represent us in the Pony girls class (skaters aged 10 and under); Kai DiNardo will skate in the Pony boys class. In the Midget boys, we will be represented by Aaron Tran and Isaiah Oliver. Clare Jeong will skate with the Juvenile girls - her first year in this class; and, Edwin Park will compete in the Junior boys - also his first year in the class. Rounding out our group of eight is Jan Zurcher who will skate in the Masters 50-59 class.
The group is heading out a couple of days early to give the skaters a chance to skate on a long track oval in advance of the competition. While the other skaters have participated in long track competitions in prior years, this will be the first time on the big track for both Aaron and Isaiah.
Good luck to all the skaters.
January 20, 2010
Olympics years are always good ones for our little known sport. As the interest in the Olympics and athletes from this area peaks ahead of the opening of the games, so does the drive for the media to find local interest stories. This year, the Puget Sound Speedskating Club is one of those local interest stories. KOMO 4 TV came to our club on Sunday and spent about 3 hours taking video of our practice and doing interviews with some of our skaters. The resulting story will air on KOMO 4 TV Dinner Time News sometime before the Olympics.
December 28, 2009
Our short track skates have been tucked away for the time being and the rink is filled with the "clop, clop, clop" of long track skates. Eight skaters are preparing to participate in the U.S. National Long Track Championships that will take place in Roseville, MN. at the end of January, 2010. It's a challenge to train for racing on a 400 m. oval by skating in a short track rink but Coach Lee has lots of ideas about how to help us get ready.
December 23, 2009
Just a reminder that there will be no ice time on Friday, December 25.
December 23, 2009
Merry Christmas to everyone. Our 4th Annual Puget Sound Challenge Cup races are over. A great time was had by all. Thank you parents for all the great food! Thank you to all our volunteers - timers, place judges, starter, track stewards, clerk of the course and recorders. Without your support, this event would not be possible. And, thank you to the Puget Sound Hockey Center staff for giving us great ice for this event. Many skaters skated personal bests. And, for many of our new skaters, this was their first opportunity to put their technical skills to the test in real races. You all did great!. To see your times, check out the results.
In terms of the Challenge Cup races - there was one race for the top 6 men and one race for the top 6 women. On the boys side, Puget Sound skaters swept the top 3 positions. Edwin Park took the first place cup finishing in a time of 1:38.27; Jimmy Han finished in 2nd place with a time of 1:42.20 with Aaron Tran close on his heels at 1:43.00. On the girls side, Clare Jeong won the covetted first place trophy with a time of 1:46.56. The second place cup went to Nicole Majesa of British Columbia who finished in a time of 1:49.86. Taking the 3rd place trophy was Saree Han who finished in a time of 1:57.59.
December 17, 2009
Just a reminder to skaters and parents that our annual interclub competition is this weekend. Skaters should be at the rink for registration and warm-up by noon. On ice warm-ups will begin at 12:00 noon with racing to take place between 1:00 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow in the upstairs room at the rink about 30 minutes after the final race is completed and mats have been removed from the ice and stacked.
December 5, 2009
Just a reminder to skaters to get their registrations in for the 4th Annual Puget Sound Challenge Cup. This is a fun event with lots of racing, food and prizes!
November 24, 2009
Only two of our skaters - Edwin Park and Saree Han - went north to Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, this past weekend to participate in the POCO Interclub Meet being held there in conjunction with their B.C. Winter Games qualifier races. Edwin finished as the top ranked male skater amongst a strong group of about 35 Juvenile, Junior and Intermediate skaters. The first race was a 777 m. distance. Edwin crossed the line in fourth place with a time of 1:13.23 - a fast time but not the result he was looking for in terms of place. The second event was the 1000 m. race and Edwin was very happy with his first place finish in a personal best time of 1:31.97. Next came the short sprint - the 500 m. race. Edwin excels in this distance because of his very fast, strong starts. He finished the race in first place with a time of 45.65 - a personal best by nearly 1 second. The last race was the longest - 13.5 laps - and while Edwin won the distance, there was some confusion in the timer's box and none of the skaters in his heat received their times for this race.
Saree Han also had a great competition. Although she skates as a Pony in the U.S. (that is, with skaters aged 10 years and under), at this competition, she skated with skaters ranging in age from 10 to 17). After all the races were finished, Saree was the 4th fastest girl in the competition - only 3 Intermediate skaters (ages 16-17) were ranked higher than she was. Saree finished the 777 m. distance in 1:27.11. To put this in perspective, the next fastest girl in her age class clocked in at 1:31.90. Had they been in the same race, Saree would have been about 1/2 lap ahead in a 7 lap race. In the 1000 m. race (a distance not typically skated by skaters Saree's age), her skate crossed the line in 1:50.68 - the third fastest time for all of the girls in the competition and less than 3/10s of a second behind a 17-year old boy. Michelle Moreira, a 17 year old skater had the fastest time with a clocking of 1:47.98. The 500 m. distance was next and Saree had a somewhat disappointing time of 0:55.09 - no where near her personal best of 52.00. The final distance for Saree's group was another 1000 m. race. Again, Saree posted a great time with 1:52.26.
Congratulations to these two skaters on their great performance and attaining new personal bests.
October 20, 2009
October 20, 2009
Although only a first year Juvenile in the U.S., Clare is a second year Juvenile skater in Canada. In the first 1000 meter race, Clare skated in the second group and led the pack out to a very fast time. She ended up finishing second in the race with a time of 1:44.49. This was the second fastest time for the 1000 meter distance posted by any of the girls in the competition. Here next race was a 500 m. sprint. She fiinshed in 1st place in her group posting a time of 00:51.13 which was the fastest time for any of the Juvenile aged girls (12 and 13) and the 7th fastest time overall. In the second 500 m. race of the day, Clare skated a great race and made an excellent inside pass. Unfortunately, she was ruled to have cross-tracked and was disqualified. Unofficially, her time was 00:50.22. In the final race of the day, another 1000 m. distance, she fell early in the race. In all, she finished in 10th place o f the 31 girls skating in the division.
Edwin, in Canada, is a second year Junior. He skated with a very fast and competitive group of young skaters. Unfortunately, his competition did not get off to a great start. Although, based on his seed time, he started in the top group of male skaters, he fell in the first 1000 m. distance with just 2 laps to go and then again in the first 500 m. distance. This left him sitting low in the overall rankings. However, in the 10000 m. up to the time of the fall, he was skating very strong and consistent laps; and, in the 500 m. distance, he had a 12.5 second opening lap - very fast. In the second 500 m. race of the day, the now disappointed Edwin skated a relatively slow (for him) race finishing first in his group with a time of 00:40.67. In the final 1000 m. race, he finished in 1st palce in his group with a time of 1:40.36 which turned out to be the 3rd fastest time of all the skaters and the 2nd place time amongst Junior aged skaters.
Jimmy and Aaron skated in the same division as Edwin. Jimmy had some great races. In the first 1000 m. distance, he finished with a personal best of 1:42.61 taking 1st spot in his group (and the 2nd fastest Juvenile overall for the distance). In the first 500 m. race, Jimmy clocked in at 00:50.15; in the second, he crossed the finish line in a slightly faster time of 00:50.09. In the last distance, the second 1000 m. race of the day, he finished just behind Edwin with a time of 1:43.29. This was the fastest time posted by any Juvenile aged skater in the second 1000. Jimmy finished in 12th place overall for all the boys aged 12 to 19.
Aaron was close on Jimmy's heels in each of the races as both boys skated in the same group throughout the competition. In the first 1000 m. distance, Aaron finished in a time of 1:42.80. This was the 3rd fasted time posted by any Juvenile skater which is a great result considering that, in the U.S. Aaron is still classified as a Midget skater. In the two 500 m. races, Aaron clocked in at the exact same time - 00:50.22 - just 10ths of a second behind Jimmy. Again, this was the 3rd fastest time amongst the Juvenile boys. In the final 1000 m. distance, Aaron had a disappointing fall. He ended up in 14th place overall for the division.
Saree, skating in the Midget girls class, dominated the ice. In the first race of the day - the 333 m. distance - Saree skated to a half lap lead finishing with a time of 00:36.06 (with the second lap timed at 10.96 seconds - very fast for a 10 year old skater) - a full 6.5 seconds faster than the 2nd place finisher. This was repeated again in the second 333 m. race in which Saree clocked a time of 00:36.51. The next two distances were both 500 metre races. Saree won both - the first in a time of 00:55.77, the second with a time of 00:56.33. Each race, she was nearly 10 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.
Isaiah skated with the Midget boys. In the first 333 m. race, he was leading when he stumbled just before the finish line, fell head first across the line and ended up with a second place finish. It's when the skates cross that counts. His time turned out to be 00:38.09. In the second 333 m. distance, he finished in first place in the first group clocking the fastest time for all the boys at 36.89. In the first 500 m. distance, he finished in 3rd place with a time of 00:55.35 (a virtual tie with the second place finisher). In the final distance of the day - another 500 m. race - Isaiah fell. However, despite the 2 falls, he finished in 5th place amongst the 33 competitors in his division.
Jan also had a bit of a disappointing competition. First, there were no other Masters ladies entered in the competition, so she had to skate with 6 Master men. In the first 777 m. distance, she found herself without a lot of energy and ended up with a quite slow time of 1:37.33 - although it was good enough for second place. The next race was a 500 m. distance which she finished in 1:01.52 - about 2 seconds off her personal best set last December at North Americans. The second 500 m. was better. The leader fell with just 1.5 laps to go and Jan won the distance with a time of 1:00.90. In the final 777 m. distance, all of the skaters were placed in the same heat and it was difficult to skate around the slower skaters who were skating side by side across the ice on the straight aways, some of whom were lapped twice. As a result the time for the second attempt at this distance was even slower than the first - 1:38.26.
September 15, 2009
August 30, 2009
July 15, 2009
June 30, 2009
May 3, 2009
March 14, 2009
Although no National Championships were won, Puget Sound skaters did very well at the U.S. Shhort Track Age Class Nationals. We all want to thank Coach Lee for his tireless efforts getting us ready for this competition.
March 9, 2009
February 23, 2009
February 16, 2009
February 10, 2009
February 2, 2009
January 27, 2009
January 26, 2009