NWT Skaters Kick Off With a Strong Start With Girls Relay Team to Compete For a Medal
NWT skaters kicked off the games with a strong start during preliminaries as 6 of the 7 skaters advanced to the upper bracket in the 1000m and 4 of the 7 skaters will move ahead in the upper bracket as well in the 500m race.
The girls relay team are turning heads after their stellar performance that earns them an advance to the finals, which means a chance for a medal finish.
Coach Shane Clark described the team’s awareness of tough competition going into the meet.
“The goal was to have a responsible relay, which we did,” he said, “If we could keep our lap times up - and if we could keep some pressure on the other two teams.”
It has been a season of hard work with a special focus on their relay performance, working to perfect exchanges.
With two heats of four teams, the NWT-the sixth seed- was up against the Ontario (second seed), New Brunswick (third seed) and Saskatchewan (seventh seed).
The girls ended up crossing the line third, behind New Brunswick and Ontario respectively. Clark said the team was already elated with their performance, as they knew that they had beaten the NWT’s current relay record. Moments after the race was completed, it was announced that Ontario had missed the “tag” needed to complete the relay; therefore they were penalized. NWT scooted in to nab the second place needed to advance. They will be competing against Quebec, Alberta and New Brunswick in the finals.
The end result is not only a chance for a medal- but a scorching of the previous NWT relay record. The teams time 4 minutes 55 seconds, sliced 10 seconds off the old record of 5 minutes 5 seconds, from 2004 Arctic Winter games 2 generations of skaters ago.
Clark says that the team remains grounded, knowing that there are still three more days of competition to follow a practice tomorrow afternoon.
The team is going to attempt to bring in a medal this Friday, Feb. 21 at 1:45 MDT.
Tune in to support your skaters in the 500m finals this Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 4-6 pm on TSN2.
2015 Canada Winter Games
Prince George, BC will be the host of the 2015 Canada Winter Games which will take place from February 12 to March 1, 2015. Short Track Speed Skating is usually held during the first week of the games
NWTASSA looks forward to sending a full team of speed skaters to this prestigious event. The coach for this event will be Shane Clark. Shane brings many years of experience and has multiple Arctic Winter Games as well as on Canada Winter Games under his coaching belt. He was also awarded Sport North Coach of the Year in 2011.
Athlete selection criteria for the 2015 Canada Winter Games is as follows: