We started the season with Baystate member Hugh Johnston becoming A US Speedskating Level 1 Coach. This was an important event considering several of our long time coaches recently retired. He joined John Chadis, a Level 2 Coach, in helping our club learn the fine art of speedskating twice a week in Walpole. Mike Powers continued coaching and growing the Bedford contingent on Sunday mornings. This provided our skaters with a total of three ice sessions per week.
The Baystate Championships held in November, our USS Sanctioned meet, was orchestrated by an all new cast of organizers with lots of help from knowledgeable friends. It not only ran well but was also a financial success. Lets hope this continues! Our meet draws competition from all over the Northeast and provides official qualifying times for Junior Nationals, the American Cup Series and other USS Championship events. We also provide a Novice Division which allows everyone to race.
Several of our club members traveled to local and national meets this year. Skaters who qualified for the 2014 US Junior Short Track Championships held at the Petit National Ice Center, Milwaukee, WI in January were Betsy Richards, Nicole Nassif, Jori Kola and Julie Letai. Nicole, Jori and Julie are also members of NEST, North East Speedskating Team, coached by CT coach Dave Moneypenny.Betsy spent this season in Milwaukee with the Academy for Skating Excellence (ASE) training with Olympian Katherine Reuter. Nicole, Betsy and Julie also qualified for the AM Cup Series.
The same group of Juniors and myself competed at the 2014 Age Group Short Track Championships held in St. Louis, Missouri in March. Jori Kola made the podium for his 3rd place finish and a Bronze Medal in the Junior C 500m race. Yours truly earned a Bronze Medal for 3rd overall in the Master Women 50-59 group and CT Coach Dave Moneypenny was overall Silver Medalist in Master Men 60-69.
International superstar Maura Zimmer traveled to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada at the beginning of April and represented Baystate at the Masters International Short Track (MIST) meet. I hear it was fabulous fun with plenty of competition. Rounding out the season was the Spring Jam at the end of April which was a fun, pressure-free, way for skaters, volunteers and organizers to gain some meet experience. Congrats to all the competitors for an exciting and action packed season and thank you to all the volunteers who help everything run smoothly.
Enjoy the nice weather and see you at the rink!!
Upcoming Club Events
1) Summer Ice (starts Tuesday, May 6th, in Walpole)
2) Sunday Morning Cycling (starts, May 11th/meets at Elm Bank, Wellesley/ages 12 & up)
3) Sue Ellis Camp (June 6-8 in Walpole/sign up on USS website).
4) Baystate Coach & Volunteer Appreciation Cook-Out (June, date and location pending)
5) Summer Dryland w/ Brendan (Thursday 7-8:30 PM/Needham High School/all ages/no previous experience needed)