2011 Nationals – 9 WFIRC skaters, 5 National Records

The 2011 Australian Open Short Track Championships were held at the world class Docklands Ice House in Melbourne. Nine WFIRC club members skated in the championships with fantastic overall results for the club.

Madison Poole leading a semi-final

Madison Poole skated away with three new national records in the 222m, 333m, and the 777m distances. Madison was only beaten by New Zealand skaters but the racing was really close, with Madison being the equal highest placed WA/AUS skater in third overall in the Midget ladies division.
Madison’s sister Courtney competed in the next division up, the sub-junior ladies. This was a large field and Courtney got into the swing of racing after her first race. Courtney missed the final of the 333m by just .001 of a second! And then her time in the B final of the 500m would’ve seen her in third place in the A final. Overall, with all new personal bests, Courtney finished 9th overall.

Frank Anderson effectively threw away his title hopes after receiving a penalty (DQ) for a late pass in the 1000m Masters final. This meant that he did not receive any final points for that race. Frank backed up to set a new 35-39 years age record in the 3000m Super Final, finishing the competition in fourth place overall. When you consider that the top 4 skaters in this division were separated by 5 points, the 1000m penalty cost Frank the title. Better luck next year!

Carys Milby was the only Nipper girl to skate the competition so she was put into the Nipper boys division and she didn’t disappoint. Carys also became the newest WA National record holder, establishing a new 777m record. Carys was awarded the 1st place for nipper girls, but becuase there was not three competitors, she cannot claim the National title. Carys raced well against the boys.

Celeste Perhavec leading the 1500m

Emma Boughton-Lane and Celeste Perhavec raced the Senior ladies division and ended up 8th and 9th Overall. Unfortunately, some results were mixed up and need to be clarified with AIR officials. Nonetheless, both ladies established clear personal bests in all distances. What was especially pleasing was to see them skate under the 1min mark for their 500m. And well under! Congratulations girls.

Thomas Pilote contested the Junior mens division finishing 5th overall. Thomas had a fall in each of his first two races but came back with some good solid technical skating in his final two races. In those two races, Thomas established two new PB’s as well.
Thomas’s big brother Laurent was thrown into the premier division of Senior Mens, and although he was down the field in the sprint events, in the longer distances, he was not embarrased by any stretch of the imagination and he also skated to all new personal bests.

Finally, Ryan Milby skated in the Midget Boys division also finishing on the podium, taking out third overall in the division and skating to all new personal bests. ryan got a good taste of racing tactics, and began thinking about the concept of drafting. Sometimes, this is easier said than done, but i know he had a fun time.

Thanks to Carolyn, Brett, Natasha, Louise and Norm for their fantastic support to all the skaters during and after their races. The WFIRC were definately the loudest group there and you always knew when a WFIRC member was racing! Thanks

3rd Midget Girls – Madison Poole
3rd Midget Boys – Ryan Milby
3rd Nipper Division – Carys Milby
4th Masters Men – Frank Anderson
5th Junior Men – Thomas Pilote
9th Sub-Junior Ladies – Courtney Poole
8th Senior Ladies – Emma Boughton-Lane
9th Senior Ladies – Celeste Perhavec
17th Senior Men – Laurent Pilote

WFIRC/WA State Coach Frank Anderson was awarded the AIR Club/State Coach of the Year Award by the Board of Australian Ice Racing. Frank could only have won such an award with the determination from the skaters, the assistance from the parents and the support of the Australian Ice Racing community. He also needs to thank the club sponsor of ACPL who without their genorosity, WA Short Track would not be on the map.

Madison Poole was awarded her National Record pins from when she broke the 222m and 333m at the Duke Trophy in Sydney earlier this year.

Although the year is not over, the results achieved by WA and WFIRC members this season have surprised a lot of people and it is expected that we will continue the promotion of our sport here in WA over the coming months, with our first State Championship planned for late November. It is time to do more recruiting to build our sport and competition on a local level – now that we have our own local heroes! GO FLAMES!

About Frank A.

An Australian masters speed skater whose passion for ice sports can not be dulled! Join the ride through the Master years with me.
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