Peyton Stonehouse-Smith (right) and Toria Kalinuk will be at the B.C. Provincial Championships for long track speed skating this weekend in Fort St. John. (Submitted)

Peninsula speed skating duo aiming for the national stage

Pair opted to train in long track skating this season for the first time

A pair of young speed skaters training in North Saanich are hoping to reach the Canada Games next season and are already making great strides in that direction.

Toria Kalyinuk and Peyton Stonehouse-Smith train with the Peninsula Speed Skating Club, based at the Panorama Recreation Centre, and are coached by Brenda Hennigar, a three-time national long track champion and former national team member. She said both girls contacted her, saying they were interested in expanding their repertoire on the ice from short track to long track events.

“Perhaps they were inspired by Hamish Black,” Hennigar said.

Black trained in Victoria with Ian Hennigar before moving to Calgary in 2014, in order to train for the Olympics on long track speed skating.

“They asked me if I would consider coming back to coaching to help them with skating long track, so in doing that we’ve been working together for the past six months,” she said.

The skaters had to learn how to use the ‘clap’ skates — the long blades that are not connected at the back of the boot. She said there was a learning curve but they took to it well.

“They’re working really, really hard.”

Hennigar said the pair have been learning how to skate in the 400 metre oval in Calgary — during the CanAm International event in November. She said skaters on the Island do not have access to courses of that length. While in Alberta, the pair skated well among 118 other competitors from six different countries.

The Jan. 12 to 14 weekend, Kalyinuk was back in Calgary for the Alberta Open Long Track event. Competing in her first Under 15 age group competition, Kalyinuk was hoping to reach the top ten. Henniger said she skated to a couple seventh place finishes, as well as an eighth and a ninth place — finishing in ninth place overall. She even took part in a 300-metre mass start event, which will be a new Winter Olympic event.

Kalyinuk and Stonehouse-Smith are both in Fort St. John Jan. 20 and 21 for the provincial speed skating championships. They will compete in both short and long track events, Hennigar said. Stonehouse-Smith will take part in her first Under 20 Junior Olympic Division event as a 15 year old.

Depending on how they do there, Hennigar said the skaters could be in a position to represent B.C. at the Canadian Age Class Championships in Quebec in February. As well, they are also going to be skating at the BC Winter Games next month in Kamloops.

Hennigar said the girls are training hard and working to be able to compete at a national level.

“They have been competing in qualifying events this year, to be able to try out for the Canada Games team next year,” she said.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Executive chef hosts National Honey Bee Day in Langford

The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and spa lost all of their honey bees last year

UPDATED: Materials linked to 1992 Colwood murder found at construction site in Metchosin

West Shore RCMP investigating to determine if relevant to the old case

Shamrocks hold 1-0 lead over Burrards

Bob Heyes said it is going to be a different game on Sunday in Maple Ridge

PHOTOS: Tour de Victoria takes off

1,800 cyclists took off in the Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria for a city-wide loop

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Most Read