FORT ST. JOHN B.C. –  The Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club held the BC Open Long Track competition on March 5th and 6th, welcoming 80 skaters from across the province and northwest Alberta.

The competition offered mass start and Olympic style racing, and more than half of the athletes achieved personal and seasonal best times, according to the club.

The event concluded the 2021-22 speed skating season in Fort St. John, and exceeded the club’s expectations, according to president Corrie Bennie.

Elks member Sidney Bennie established the 5000m track record for women, while teammate Matthew Mitchell’s time in that distance qualified him to skate the 5000m in Calgary Oval during Canada Cup 3.

Even though the season is over, some local skaters will still go to the Canada Cups in Calgary, BC Short Track Provincials in Richmond, CanWest Short Track in Selkirk, Manitoba, and the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships in Quebec City in mid-April.