WEC kicks off with 1500m & 500m preliminaries; Semi-Finals and Finals set for Saturday
CALGARY, AB – The Western Elite Circuit (WEC) fired up this morning with Oktoberfest at the University of Calgary Olympic Oval. The WEC includes three events and two venues – WEC #1 (Oktoberfest) at the Calgary Oval (October 16-18th) and WEC #2 at the Richmond Oval (December 4-6th). The circuit will then return to Calgary to wrap up with the final event WEC #3 (Winterfest) on February 18-21st. At the end of the competitions the rankings will be split into two separate age categories – U-17 and Open. The total number of points for the circuit will breakdown as such: 20% - Oktoberfest, 40% - WEC #2 (Richmond) and 40% - Winterfest.
Day 1 of Oktoberfest brought with it the 1500m preliminaries, 500m preliminaries and 500m quarters. Oval coached Jacob McKenzie had the fastest time of the 1500m mens preliminaries with a 2:15.033. The Ontario native was followed closely behind by a pair of his Oval teammates; Saskatchewan’s Jesse Slusar (2:15.305) and Keegan Christ (2:15.842). In the Ladies preliminaries, a trio of Oval coached athletes led by Canadian National Development team skater Keri Morrison took the top spots. Morrison finished her heat with a time of 2:24.794, her Oval teammates Isabelle Carrier (2:25.030) and Kaelin McNally (2:25.103) rounded out the top 3. The 1500m semi-finals and final are set for Saturday morning starting at 10:00AM.
The 500m preliminaries ended with a pair of Oval coached internationals leading the ladies division. The Malisewska sisters Patricia and Natalya clocked in times of 0:44.546 and 0.44.585 respectively to lead the field in qualifying for the quarters. Both Patricia and Natalya then won their respective heats in the quarters as did Morrison who posted a time of 0:44.964. Ian Smibert (0:42.452), McKenzie (0:42.459) and Christ (0:42.913) led qualifying on the mens division. All three were also able to capture their respective heats in the 500m quarters. The 500m semi-finals & final are set for Saturday afternoon starting at approximately 12:35PM.
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