Mile Zero speed skaters had their hands full this past weekend shredding the ice at two separate meets. The Dawson Creek Speed Skating Club (DCSSC) journeyed to Peace River for a regional contest, while local products Pauline Sutherland and Jacob Graham were in Calgary for the CanAm International and Junior World Cup.
Graham, a 16-year old student at Dawson Creek Secondary School, who trains in Fort St. John, impressed head coach Richard Stickel.
“Obviously Jacob was the story of the meet for us as he skated some amazing times for a 16 year old,” Stickel told media following the events in Calgary.
Some notable finishes for Graham were sixth place in the 500 m (36.64) and eighth in the 1,000 m (1:12.79) in the Junior World Cup, as well as an impressive 21st place finish in the 500 m (37.64) and 27th place in the 3,000 m (4.22.02) at the CanAm competition where the 16 year old was up against speed skaters of all ages.
On the ladies’ side of the CanAm, Sutherland, 15, finished in the top-25 of the 500 m competing against Canadian and American Olympic team hopefuls – including Canada’s Tamara Oudenaarden who qualified for the national team in 2010.
Sutherland posted a time of 44.09 on Day 3 of the event placing her 23rd for the day’s time trials. Her fastest time, however, came on Friday when she recorded a 43.82 in the 500 m.
Sutherland, who specializes in sprints, finished in 28th with a time of 1:29.06 in the 1,000 m; she scored a 2:19.76 in the 1,500 m; and clocked a 4:49.52 in the 3,000 m.
Graham's training partner Jay Morrison of Fort St. John made some good times as well in the CanAm competition, finishing fifth in the 3,000 m (3:55.37) and ninth in the 1,500 m (1:48.94).
In Peace River the DCSSC was up against regional short-track opponents of Fort St. John, Hay River, Peace River and Peace Wapiti clubs.
Dawson Creek’s Brhyer Cook took first place in Division 3 with a second place finish in the 200 m and third place in the 100 m pursuit. Brianna Winiandy, also of Dawson Creek, claimed fifth in the same division.
Hannah Brunn earned sixth for DCSSC in Division 1 after winning the 400 m final, and placing third in the 1,500 m and fourth in the 200 m pursuit.
Ian Brunn finished the weekend in eighth spot of Division 2. His best finish was second in the 200 m final.
The DCSSC are back on the ice this weekend as the squad travels to Prince George for their third meet of the season. They are in Grande Prairie Dec. 11, and wrap things up in Fort St. John before the Christmas break on Dec. 15 for the Elks annual meet.