‘A family sport’
Speedskating club holds first races of the year
Adam Blackley relaxes after crossing the finish line during the Alaska Speedskating Club’s first races of the season Saturday, Oct. 13 at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.
Amy Fitzpatrick started speedskating while growing up in Michigan.
Now, she’s sharing her love of the sport with her own family.
Fitzpatrick’s son, Quinlan, was one of a dozen or so who competed in the Alaska Speedskating Club’s first race of the season Saturday, Oct. 13 at the McDonald Center.
Being able to participate with her son is one of Fitzpatrick’s favorite aspects of speedskating.
“The beauty about it is the whole family can skate,” she said. “It’s a good family sport.”
Fitzpatrick, former club president, said Alaska Speedskating is the lone club in the state. Whitehorse, Yukon, is the closest town with a speedskating club to the Eagle River-based group, she said.
Participation has fluctuated since the club’s creation in 1995, Fitzpatrick said.
“We have peaks and valleys,” she said.
The club’s numbers usually increase every other year when athletes compete in the biennial Arctic Winter Games, said current president Nancy Hiney.
This year, the club has seen an influx of youths interested in the sport, Fitzpatrick said.
“Right now, we have a lot of young kids,” she said. “We’re really happy about that.”
Because of the increase in youngsters, coach Maddie Corbett was brought in to focus on the new skaters, Hiney said.
The club is open to all ages and skill levels, Hiney said.
“We’ve got all ages on the ice,” she said.
Seeing families enjoying an activity together is why Hiney has served on the board the past eight years.
“That’s exactly why I’m part of this club,” she said. “It’s a complete family club.”
The club meets at the Mac on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings for practice September through March. Races are held monthly.
The first skate for newcomers is free, Fitzpatrick said, and the club has all the gear needed. For more information, visit the club’s website at www.alaskaspeedskating.com.
Alaska Speedskating Club short track race results
McDonald Center, Saturday, Oct. 13
111m: 1. Cassie Welch, 21.56;
2. Hannah Jasser, 38.57.
222m: 1. Cassie Welch, 41.06;
2. Hannah Jasser, 1:10.55.
333m: 1. Cassie Welch, 1:03.93;
2. Hannah Jasser, 1:59.52.
500m: 1. Cassie Welch, 1:31.5;
2. Hannah Jasser, 2:13.91.
111m: 1. Alex Davidson, 23.18.
222m: 1. Alex Davidson, 50.56.
333m: 1. Alex Davidson, 1:13.46.
111m: 1. Jonah Jasser, 28.94.
222m: 1. Jonah Jasser, 1:01.5.
333m: 1. Jonah Jasser, 1:22.31.
500m: 1. Jonah Jasser, 2:20.78.
111m: 1. Karlis Stolcers, 28.96.
222m: 1. Karlis Stolcers, 57.65.
333m: 1. Karlis Stolcers, 1:23.10.
111m: 1. Anthony Morrison, 21.23.
222m: 1. Anthony Morrison, 43.5.
500m: 1. Anthony Morrison, 1:30.48.
333m: 1. Quinlan Fitzpatrick, 43.18.
500m: 1. Quinlan Fitzpatrick, 1:02.31;
2. Matthew Blackley, 1:06.28.
777m: 1. Quinlan Fitzpatrick, 1:41.84;
2. Matthew Blackley, 1:42.91.
333m: 1. Adam Blackley, 36.06.
500m: 1. Adam Blackley, 53.78.
1,000m: 1. Adam Blackley, 1:53.16.
500m: 1. Game McGimsey, 1:23.74.
777m: 1. Game McGimsey, 1:40.43.
1,000m: 1. Game McGimsey, 2:06.43.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or email@example.com.