May 21st, 2024

Bridge Blades race to the podium

By Dale Woodard on November 3, 2021.

There was a path to the podium for members of the Bridge Blades as The Lethbridge Speed Skating Association Bridge Bolt short track meet hit the ice Saturday and Sunday at the ATB Centre.

When the final laps were skated, a total of 12 LSSA skaters made their way to a medal finish at the two-day event.

Though it was a season debut for most of the host Bridge Blades, a few of the athletes already had an event under their belt.

That included 11-year-olds Zoe Wesseling and Zosia Adelman, who were in Saskatoon the weekend prior for the Saskatoon Prairie Opener, another short track meet.

“It went pretty well, but there’s always room for improvement,” said Adelman of the Saskatchewan meet.

Saturday and Sunday offered Adelman the chance to work on that improvement on home ice at the ATB Centre

“It’s pretty exciting. I know this building. It feels pretty good.”

As of Saturday afternoon, Wesseling had already taken part in three races with solid results.

“It’s gone really good,” she said. “I’ve placed around first, second and third.”

As they took a break Saturday afternoon before the next slate of races, the duo was joined by fellow Bridge Blades member Marie Cormier.

The 13-year-old also had three races under her belt by the early afternoon.

“I’ve gotten last in a lot of them, but I’m doing pretty good. I feel like I’m working on things.”

A former ballet dancer, Cormier – who has been competing for three years – got her introduction to the sport in a roundabout way.

“My mom’s work friend’s son did speed skating and she said I should do speed skating,” she said. “I just like going fast and I like how there’s not too many instructions.”

Wesseling and Adelman’s introduction to speed skating came through their siblings.

For Wesseling, that was through her brother, Mitchell, while Adelman’s brother Zakhary helped get her started.

“My brother did speed skating and I decided I wanted to,” said Wesseling. “I like going in circles and doing crossovers.”

As the calendar turns to November, it’s still early in the speed skating season, but never too early to set season goals.

For Cormier, that means working on her times and ideally medalling at a meet, while Wesseling looks to take more time off her strong event.

“With my 200m I want to get around 20 seconds,” she said.

Adelman continues to enjoy the individual aspect of speed skating.

“It’s fun because there’s not another sport that’s exactly like this or has similarities like this. It’s just unique. You want to focus on yourself and try to get your own personal bests.”

Another member of the Bridge Blades has put another big event on her schedule.

Mikka Eaves earned a spot in the Canada Cup Qualifier #1 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary this weekend.

A top-32 finish in Calgary will land Eaves a berth in the Canadian Junior Short Track Championship in Sherbrooke, Quebec at the end of November.

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