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Local Speed Skating Teens Compete at Short Track National Championships

Nov 17, 2023

Local Speed Skating Teens Compete at Short Track National Championships
Talia Halperin,15, and Calla Haaheim, 16, represented the Kelowna Speed Skating Club at the 2023 Canadian Neo-Junior and Canadian Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships Nov. 9-12th presented by Intact Insurance at the Calgary Olympic Oval.

This was Halperin’s national-level debut in short-track for skaters 14 and 15 years old at the Neo-Junior Championships. Skaters raced the 500m, 1000m, and 1500m distances. Talia opened the meet with a 1500m heat that put her in the A-Final for the women’s group B. The race was tightly contended but after a last-lap crash and possible injury of another skater, the race was stopped and then re-started. Halperin proved her tenacity and fitness to race near the front again after the re-start and took 2nd place at the finish. The final two days saw Halperin gain tremendous racing experience and finishing 19th in the 500m and 20th in the 1000m Group B events.

Calla Haaheim competed in her second Canadian Junior Championships for skaters 16–18-year-olds. The event served as Speed Skating Canada’s selection for the fall and winter Junior World Cup events (5 skaters), World Junior Championships (4 skaters) being hosted in Europe, and also the Youth Olympic Games (2 skaters), being hosted in South Korea. The 500m, 1000m, and 1500m were each raced twice with heats, semis, and finals, with the overall classification being used to select the teams.

After two days of racing, Haaheim placed 16th in the 1500m-1 and just missed the top 10 bracket for the 500m-1 and 1000m-2 but went on to win 4 in a row to take 11th place in both distances. The second round of distances on Day 3 saw Haaheim place 11th in the 1500m-2 and qualify for the top 10 on the final day in both the 500m and 1000m. Setting a new personal best time of 45.430 in the 500m, Calla went on the make her first ever A-Final appearances on Day 4 in the 500m and 1000m where she placed 5th in both.

Haaheim missed qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games by three spots, but Canadian Youth Olympic Games Coach, Elizabeth Ward was impressed by her accomplishments “Calla was amazing this weekend. She really gained confidence over the 4 days and by Sunday she showed everyone her true potential by finishing in the top 5 in both the 1000m and 500m. We are talking about the top 5 girls in the country, with some of those girls being medal contenders at the Junior Worlds. She proved to herself she could do it and I’m excited to see her race in the future.”

Haaheim finished 10th overall in points at the Canadian Junior Championships.
Haaheim and Halperin will switch disciplines for their next race where they will lace up their long track boots to compete at the Can-Am International Long Track competition in Calgary Dec 1-3 2023.

Company Contact Information:

Company: Kelowna Speed Skating Club
Contact Name: Trevor Haaheim
Contact Phone: 2508635884
Contact Email: [email protected]
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