Richmond Rockets speed skaters had an impressive showing at last weekend’s B.C. Long Track Championships in Dawson Creek.
Despite the fact that the Rockets train only in short track at the Richmond Olympic Oval, all four skaters finished top five in their respective provincial age-class.
Lan-Vi Nguyen and Heather Stewart have also qualified for the upcoming Canadian Age-Class Long Track Championships (CACLT) in Edmonton.
A year ago, Stewart was the sole Richmond skater to compete on the 400-metre oval at provincials. She went on to attend nationals in Quebec City.
This time, Lan-Vi Nguyen, Giang-Vi Nguyen and Nam Nguyen joined Stewart in this distinct speed skating discipline which was featured in Richmond at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
At her first Long Track competition, Lan-Vi Nguyen finished second in the 12-year-old age class despite being up against more experienced competitors from northern B.C. clubs. She skated personal best (PB) times in the 300-meter & 3000-meter Mass Start events and the 500-meter Olympic Style.
It was a tough competition for Giang-Vi Nguyen who skated in a large pool of 13-year-old girls. She recorded (PB) times in the 300-meter Mass Start, 3000-meter Olympic Style and 500-meter Olympic Style.
In the 14-year old class, Stewart returned for her 2nd BCLT championships to an age class highly dominated by the Fort St-John girls that boosted the reigning Canadian Champion.
Stewart, a member of the Provincial Performance Program in Long Track, made numerous trips to Fort St-John and Prince George to complement her training. Her commitment paid off with a spot to the CACLT and PBs in the 500-meter and the 3000-meter Olympic Style.
She also teamed up with Giang-Vi Nguyen and Sofia Paredes-Heideman of Vancouver in the 2000-meter Team Pursuit event where they placed third.
Nam Nguyen skated with the Masters and brought back the silver medal. He experienced the demanding Long Track distances of the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 3000m Olympic Style. He also skated PBs in all of his distances. As a Master athlete he is not eligible to attend the CACLT, but will be cheering on his daughter Lan-Vi and Stewart in Edmonton.