Short track racers advancing to national trials

The first Olympic Oval speed skating competition of the season drew to a close early Sunday afternoon with eight short track racers qualifying to compete at the National Short Track Team Trails in November.

Richard Shoebridge from Ontario, Tim Pelz and Joseph Gladysz from British Columbia and Owen Roberts from Alberta secured a spot at the trials. Competing for a spot on the National Women’s Team will be Kylee Toth from Alberta, Jenna Gallant from PEI, Jessica Hewitt from British Columbia and Jessica Gregg from Alberta.

Six of the eight qualifying racers train under the Short Track Oval Program at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

“The Oval Program provides quality ice and training times as well as the opportunity to train with high caliber athletes, including World and Olympic medalists,” says Shawn Holman, National Team and Oval Program Coach, Short Track Speed Skating.

Holman also stressed the importance of safety in short track racing. “In a sport that has high speed and tight corners, falls can easily happen so keeping safe is importance. The short track safety mat system at the Oval helps to decrease injury so skaters stay healthy and can advance through their training.”

The skaters were ranked with a combination of points from the 500m, 1000m and 1500m races. The top competitors were Cory Rasmussen (BC) with 2632 points and Brigid Farrell (USA) with 2816 points.

Winner of 1000m Men’s A Final was Cory Rasmussen with a time of 1:2988. Rasmessen, Michael Friesen (BC) and Alan McIlveen (AB) have pre-qualified for the trials following their top 24 ranking last season.

Short track speed skating competition continues next weekend with the Olympic Oval Short Track Invitation II, October 22 to 24. Admission is free to the public.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Yvonne Turgeon

Communications Specialist - Olympic Oval

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary

Ph: 403-210-8568

Fax: 403-284-4815

www.oval.ucalgary.ca