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

Sooke trade show targets local business

Sookrama planned for April

Added webcams give drivers more views of Malahat and highway to Sooke

Five new DriveBC webcams installed in high traffic locations on Vancouver Island

Four Grizzlies crack NHL’s central scouting list for 2019

Newhook, Campbell, Bucheler and Berger earn NHL notice

Legend of Victoria dog ‘Cody’ lives on with successful pet drive

Charmaine’s furniture store collecting donations for Victoria Pet Food Bank

Royals test unbeaten streak on Hockey for Hospitals night

Marty and the Victoria Royals host Hockey for Hospitals night on Feb. 2

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

POLL: Do you support a speculation tax on vacant homes in Greater Victoria?

Homeowners have begun to receive letters asking if they should be exempt… Continue reading

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Most Read