18 Speed Skaters named to Team BC for the 2015 Canada Winter Games

bc speedskating

(ISN) – BC Speed Skating is proud to announce the 18 athletes who will compete for Team BC in short track and long track speed skating at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

Short Track Team
Christopher Poljer-So (Burnaby Haida) – New Westminster
Cormac Chui (Burnaby Haida) – Vancouver
Alex Chizawksy (Matsqui Blades) – Abbotsford
Anton Shekhter (Burnaby Haida) – Burnaby
William Park (Langley Blades) – Langley
Alison Desmarais (Nechako Lake Clippers) – Vanderhoof
Amy Cave (Port Coquitlam Lightning) – Port Moody
Callie Swan (Prince George Blizzard) – Prince George
Alyssa Skaalid (Kelowna) – Enderby
Maria Kim (Port Coquitlam Lightning) – Coquitlam

Keith Gordon (Fort St James Falcons) – Fort St. James
Erin Copeland (Peninsula) – Victoria
Lorelei St. Rose (Prince George Blizzard) – Prince George

Long Track Team
Nicolas Hiller (Prince George Blizzard) – Prince George
Jacob Graham (Dawson Creek) – Dawson Creek
Tyler Hartleb (Nelson) – Castlegar
Eric Spence (River City Racers) – Kamloops
Sara Spence (River City Racers) – Kamloops
Abigail McCluskey (Kelowna) – Penticton
Carolina Hiller (Prince George Blizzard) – Prince George
Emilie Medland-Marchen (Kelowna) – Kelowna

Ariana VanDerStarre (Burnaby Haida) – Burnaby
Richard Stickel (Fort St John Elks) – Fort St. John

For Callie Swan, Nicolas Hiller, and Carolina Hiller, these Games will be even more special as they will be competing in their hometown of Prince George.

“Making the Games is knowing that years of perseverance paid off, and that my family, friends, and coaches believe in me. I know that I acted on my dream,” said Callie Swan (Prince George). I am excited to meet amazing athletes in multiple sports, to champion my team and make new friendships along the way.”

The selection process for the teams was very competitive. The short track skaters competed in a two-day trial event on November 1-2 in Prince George with the top five finishers in each gender qualifying for Team BC. The long track skaters raced in a three-day event November 28-December 1 in Fort St. John with the top four finishers in each gender qualifying for Team BC. Three skaters qualified in both disciplines and each chose the discipline they wished to compete in at the Games.

“I am proud that I made it to the Canada Winter Games for both long track and short track. I chose to compete in long track because I like how much faster you go and I like skating outdoors,” said Tyler Hartleb (Castlegar). I am also proud to be the third member in my family after my grandpa and mother to represent BC at the Canada Winter Games.”

The coaching staff includes six-time Canada Winter Games Coach Keith Gordon (Fort St. James), as well as Prince George based apprentice coach Lorelei St. Rose. “The Canada Winter Games are often a highlight of a skater’s career and can be an important development meet for top international skaters,” said Gordon. “The ice at Kin 1 is fast and we should have some personal best times. Although we will focus on our best competitive results, we want to do our best on an off the ice so that all of the athletes and coaches/managers have a wonderful Games experience.”

Leading up to the Games, the skaters will be competing in interprovincial and national competitions under the supervision of the Team BC Coaches. Next up for the short track skaters is the Single Distance Series #4 on December 20 in Calgary. Long track skaters will be in action early in the New Year at the Canadian Single Distance/Canada Cup #2 competition in Calgary. Skaters will be working together at training camps to train for the team events (relay in short track and team pursuit in long track).

At the 2015 Canada Winter Games the short track and long track competitions both take place in the first week of the Games, February 13-20, 2015. Short track will be held at Kin 1 and long track at the Outdoor Ice Oval.